SAMAHANG Weightlifting ng Pilipinas (SWP) president Monico Puentevella, a former mayor of Bacolod City, slammed his critics for using Hidilyn Diaz to replace him on his post.
Puentevella, in a radio interview, said Thursday, September 27, there is a group now that is interested to occupy his post because of the current good record of weightlifting.
Diaz, a 2018 Asian Games weightlifting gold medalist and Rio Olympic silver medalist, earlier expressed her disappointment with the leadership of Puentevella.
In her letter addressed to Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman William Butch Ramirez dated September 21, Diaz stated, “it is depressing how a sports leader uses weightlifting without promoting and expanding our sports, without a strategic plan, without a long-term program for the athletes, and without integrity. Mr. Puentevella is creating further misfortune to our sport instead of upholding unity and peace should he really have or had or has the heart for weightlifting in the country. He must voluntarily do what is right. He must undergo election process if he really wants to be the president.”
The letter was posted on the Facebook account of Perry Mequi, former chairman of PSC.
Puentevella countered that he served the SWP for 15 years with athletes and national coaches.
The former mayor said in the previous years, people were not talking about weightlifting, but now because of its success, they talked about it.
“It’s very sad to hear that Diaz released this kind of statement. I forgive her because she is not behind on this story, she only signed the letter,” he said.
He added that Diaz was discovered in 2002 in Batang Pinoy program where she was only 16 years old.
“How she could have that medals if there are no good programs on weightlifting?” Puentevella asked.
Puentevella said there is a group that is interested to join in the weightlifting since Diaz now has at least P20 million.
“I already warned her to take care of her money because maybe, there is someone that will take advantage of her situation,” Puentevella said.
He said he will wait for the reply of PCS on the letter of Diaz.
Puentevella disclosed that at present, he has 22 athletes to be trained for future competitions and it was only Diaz who was complaining.