MANILA, Philippines – Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman William “Butch” Ramirez turned down the offer to become the Philippine’s 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games chef de mission on Tuesday, May 28.
Ramirez announced his decision in a statement where he admitted that he received a call from Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) chairman Bambol Tolentino and reflected on the offer.
“After some moments of introspection, and to finally put to rest all speculations, I now issue this statement to humbly and officially decline the offer. Thank you very much for considering this humble servant,” wrote the PSC chairman.
The SEA Games chef the mission post was formerly held by Philippine Taekwondo Association secretary-general and Olympian Monsour del Rosario, who was sacked by POC president Ricky Vargas during a lengthy speech in the POC General Assembly last May 27.
“Today, we wake up to a Philippine sports world in shambles,” said Ramirez referring to the POC’s leadership struggles.
“After the tumultuous event in the yard of our POC partners, we find ourselves at the crossroads of our journey.”
Aside from Del Rosario and Ho, Vargas removed several officials from their appointive positions, including former POC president Peping Cojuangco, who was the Committee on Amendments chairman.
With 6 months left until the country’s hosting of the SEA Games, Ramirez reminded sports leaders “to consider peaceful interactions.”
The PSC chairman cited examples of the organization’s recent cooperation with the Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education and the Department of Interior and Local Government in grassroots development of Philippine sports.
The PSC also offered to hold a dialogue between the two parties in order to unite the national Olympic committee for the preparations of the regional biennial meet and the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
“We are hosting what we are working very hard on to be the biggest SEAG edition, we are making every possible effort to make 2020 a memorable year with the country’s first Olympic gold,” added Ramirez.
“We have our plates full and it is at this time, more than ever, that we need everyone moving in the same direction.” – Rappler.com