FOCUS onsports, not politics.
This was the message of Ilocos Sur Gov. Luis “Chavit” Singson as he prepares to hold a dialogue with Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Ricky Vargas to address wide-ranging issues affecting local sports.
“First of all, I am here to help in sports. Yun lang,” said Singson during a lunch-meeting with the officers of the Tabloid Organization in Philippine Sports (TOPS) and other media friends aboard his private yacht Happy Life at the Manila Yacht Club.
“I am calling the attention of our sports leaders. The country is hosting the Southeast Asian Games next year and this is the perfect time to unite and get our acts together despite our differences,” said Singson during the meeting attended by former Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Jose “Peping” Cojuangco and heads of different national sports associations.
“The athletes, especially those who will compete in the SEA Games, need our help. We have to provide them with the necessary resources to keep in step with our SEA neighbors.
Singson admitted there have been clamors for him to take the lead and initiate reforms in the POC ever since he was elected as president of the Philippine National Shooting Association (PNSA), but that he was more inclined to reach out and talk to the current POC officials.
“Katatapos lang ng problema kay (typhoon) Ompong, mag-aaway pa tayo sa sports. I will try to talk to POC president Vargas and see what we can do (on complaints of disgruntled NSAs),” added Chavit, a close friend and adviser of boxing legend Sen. Manny Pacquiao.
Singson is confident the current PSC leadership will listen to him since “para naman sa kabutihan ng bansa at ng ating sports ito.”
The 77-year-old politician-sports leader from the North said among the legitimate issues he intends to raise with Vargas and the POC officers are discrimination, favoritism and lack of a solid and concrete program.
He noted that majority of NSA leaders who have approached him and asked for his help expressed dissatisfaction and lost of confidence to the leaders of the present local Olympic body.
“ I am willing to serve as a bridge to help unite all of them,” said SIngson.
Aside from Cojuangco, the other notable personalities present were Julian Camacho (wushu), Steve Hontiveros (bowling), Buddy Andrada (tennis), Becky Garcia (dancesports), Alvin Aguilar (jiu-jitsu) and former Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman Richie Garcia.