AMIDST the recent presidential elections fiasco, top supporters from the private sector have pulled out from its affiliations with the Philippne Tennis Association (PHILTA), citing lack of trust with the personalities running the organization.
Top supporters Cebuana Lhuillier and Palawan Pawnshop have both declared to continue their age-group tennis tournaments without them being PHILTA sanctioned but instead will introduce their own unified ranking system.
“We can no longer give support to an association we feel is mismanaged by two people (Andrada and Magat) who have not shown any platform and programs for the past many years,” said Jean Henri Lhuillier, president and CEO of Cebuana Lhuillier and long-time tennis supporter.
“But we are only pulling out our support to the association but not to the development of tennis in the Philippines. We will continue our thrust of developing fresh talents through our age group tennis circuit and we are upholding our support to our national team professional athletes like Treat Huey, Ruben Gonzales, Francis Casey Alcantara and Katharina Lehnert.”
“We feel that PHILTA, under the leadership of Mr. Andrada and Mr. Magat have been grossly remiss in its mission of advancing the sport of tennis in the Philippines. We believe that for Philippine tennis to advance, we need fresh ideas and new leadership,” said Bobby Castro, president and CEO of Palawan Pawnshop.
Cebuana Lhuillier and Palawan Pawnshop comprise more than 80 perent of the age group tournaments in the country underlying the lack of programs from PHILTA.
The two companies are also responsible for numerous men's tennis opens including some international-laden tournaments.
These pull-outs of two top sponsors are just the first of what is expected to be a series of protest actions by different tennis stakeholders on Andrada's insistence to retain the presidency amidst non-performance in his previous reign as president of PHILTA for 20 years.
Andrada recently reneged from his vow to the PHILTA board, ITF president David Haggerty and POC president Peping Cojuangco present during the ITF -PHILTA-POC meeting last Oct 2016 that he is stepping down from the presidency.
He decided not to open up the position in the recent PHILTA elections sparking another controversy in the tennis community.
The controversy started when former president Edwin Olivarez relinquished the PHILTA presidency as a requisite of taking public office, the proper line of succession should have installed the then vice president Randy Villanueva.
Instead, a snap election was conducted contrary to association rules and it was held without observing the prescribed duration of time , prior and proper notice.
These circumstances were violative of PHILTA by-laws and renders Col. Andrada’s PHILTA presidency invalid and illegitimate. It is precisely for these reasons that the new election for president was slated.