The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) has every right to appeal to Malacañang the government’s decision to withdraw from the hosting of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games (SEAG), the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) said yesterday.
“It’s their prerogative,” said PSC chairman William ‘Butch’ Ramirez when told about POC president Jose ‘Peping’ Cojuangco’s desire to explain to President Rodrigo Duterte the POC’s reasons behind the hosting.
Cojuangco said efforts are underway for his group to meet with the Chief Executive and should the long-time Tarlac lawmaker succeeds, the PSC will be ready to lend a helping hand.
“If the President says we will proceed with the hosting, then we will support,” said Ramirez, who met with Executive secretary Salvador Medialdea and Sen. Migs Zubiri before they came to an agreement that staging the 30th edition of the biennial sportsfest would have to be shelved.
The reasons given ranged from the Marawi crisis and the rebuilding of Mindanao to the POC’s inability to clear its name with the Commission on Audit on financial assistance it received from the PSC during the time of former chairman Ritchie Garcia.
Ramirez also pointed to the POC’s failure to resolve spending issues stretching back to the country’s hosting of the 2005 SEAG.
“There are people working to make the meeting with President Duterte happen,” said Cojuangco, who felt that it would be beneficial for the country to go on after getting the nod of various national sports associa