MANILA (July 17) — Opposition Sen. Chiz Escudero asked the Senate on July 15 to look into bitter rivalry among the country’s top sports officials which could doom the chances of the country’s athletes in the 25th Southeast Asian Games in Laos this December.
“Our athletes have become unwilling spectators to this sad spectacle. It is now time to act on the issues that have prejudiced the country’s preparations for the Laos Games,” the 39-year old lawmaker said.
Escudero filed Senate Resolution No. 1199, which asks the Committee on Games, Amusement and Sports to investigate the ongoing rift between the leaderships of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC).
In his resolution, Escudero said the conflicting policies among leaders of the PSC, POC and various sports organizations has stalled the finalization of the actual composition of the Philippine team for the Laos Games.
“The continuous tension among sports organizations and their leaders, especially between the PSC and the POC, practically puts all Filipino athletes in limbo, whether they will be officially competing or not, which negatively affects their practice and focus,” he said.
Last week, Escudero called on POC President Jose “Peping” Cojuangco Jr. and PSC Chairman Harry Angping to patch up their difference and focus on the upcoming games.
Cojuangco has reportedly been at odds with Angping since the latter assumed the top PSC post in February of this year. The former had earlier called on Escudero to seek a Senate probe on the ongoing dispute.
“I hope that the intervention of the Senate will lead to a resolution of the issues so our athletes and sport officials can work together to bring honor to our country in Laos,” Escudero said.
“The least that the Senate can do is to enact legislation that will prevent these disputes from happening again. There are no medals to be won in this type of competition,” he said.