CRITIZED heavily already over its questionable guidelines on members’ eligibility to run, the Philippine Olympic Committee found another hot potato tossed in its hands.
The POC leadership led by president Jose ‘Peping’ Cojuangco is now being questioned on how it spent the financial assistance it got from the Philippine Sports Commission in the course of running the affairs of the athletes and their participation in international events such as the Southeast Asian Games, the Asian Games and the Olympics.
That’s the two big issues that the POC officials will have to answer satisfactorily when they face a probe in the Senate following a resolution filed by Senator Sonny Angara.
Incidentally, the two hot issues are, in essence, what comprise the battle-cry of Ricky Vargas, the president of Association of Boxing Alliances of the Philippines (ABAP), who is seeking to challenge Cojuangco in the Nov. 25 POC election, but has been disqualified.
“We would welcome a Senate probe on POC issues as it highlights two important reasons why Ricky Vargas is presenting an alternative leadership: GREATER TRANSPARENCY and ACCOUNTABILITY,” said Vargas’ spokesman lawyer Chito Salud in a statement.
Salud stressed that the Olympic body should not encounter any difficulty explaining how and where it spends the people’s money, inasmuch as it also has ‘easy time’ securing financial assistance from the PSC.
“We believe that it should be fairly easy for the POC to account for the public money it received from the PSC,” said Salud.
“What would be puzzling is if these funds have indeed remained unliquidated over the years,” added the former commissioner of the PBA who is now acting as spokesman of the Vargas camp.
The POC, Salud said, should publicly disclose how and where the money was utilized.
“And it should do so without further delay to allay growing concerns regarding non-transparency in its financial transactions. Basic norms of good governance demand this,” he said.