AS we sat down to pen this column hours before two more gallant Filipino boxers Mario Fernandez and Eumir Alex Marcial strive to win their box-off for a bronze medal with victory assuring them of a berth in the Rio Olympic Games this August where they will join Rogen Ladon and skipper Charly Suarez who scored magnificent wins over touted opponents in the semi finals, we remembered that POC president Jose “Peping” Cojuango’s badly misplaced action in denying ABAP P3 million in funding for the trip which his lackey, PSC Chairman Richie Garcia dutifully complied with.
This decision taken against the revelation that discredited former PNP Chief Gen. Alan Purisima had siphoned off almost P1 billion in five years that was meant for our athletes, makes us wonder where the money went and why the PSC and Pagcor have failed to provide a semblance of an explanation while the Ombudsman, who continues to go after opposition personalities most of the time, hasn’t thought it fit to investigate.
Its much like the Philippine Basketball Association board of governors who have subjected employees in the Commissioner’s Office to lie detector tests by the NBI while using kid gloves treatment against the person who committed a crime by submitting falsified academic documents to secure her job in the PBA as marketing head.
Where is fairness, justice and delicadeza and what has happened to integrity which two esteemed Commissioners, the late Leo Prieto and Rudy Salud had indicated was non negotiable?
We recall the song with the lyrics “you’ve got mud on your face” what a disgrace as most appropriate f or Cojuangco and Garcia, two so-called sports leaders who apparently haven’t a clue about the sport of boxing and most other sports and have driven the Philippines to the depths of disaster in international competitions even in the lowly Southeast Asian Games.
In denying the financial assistance of P3 million, Garcia mouthed the line of Cojuangco that training in the US and returning to Manila on March 18 and flying to China five days later “would be too taxing for the boxers who would have been training, sparring in the US and have to travel back home only to fly back to China. It makes sense to just go to China.”
We are glad that ABAP president Ricky Vargas and executive director Ed Picson who continues to do a fine job in China ignored Cojuangco and Garcia and proceeded with the trip which has so far resulted in two boxers—Rogen Ladon and Charly Suarez qualifying for the Olympics.
Obviously these two gentlemen haven’t a clue about the demands of amateur boxing where fighters have to battle almost every day and make sure they keep within the stipulated weight limit which means that the hard grind helps condition them for their battles ahead.
By all accounts the US training stint was a resounding success and further enhanced the skills and conditioning of our boxers as proven by the results in China where Ladon showed his uncanny skill and mental and physical toughness to beat lanky and awkward Devendro Singh Laisham of India while veteran Suarez took no chances against the hometown boy Shan Jun of China, broke his nose in the very first round and forced him to quit at the end of the second.
Welterweight Marcial who was seeded No.1 suffered an injury to his left hand and was handicapped with the swelling and pain but fought on like a true Filipino warrior and has one more chance later Friday to make it while Fernandez who lost to the classy Thai Chatchai Butdee but has a shot at making it to Rio if he can overcome Kairat Yeraliev of Kazakhstan late Friday.
What is sickening about this whole episode is the fact that Garcia congratulated the team for a job well done and even “Peping’s” longtime associate and right hand man Joey Romasanta who is basically a nice person, also joined in congratulating the fighters and wishing them the best. What gall!
We wonder what kind of men are these who, when success comes along, suddenly turn around and seek to share in the limelight.
Truly they have “Mud on their face!”