PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — THE Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) is left with no option but to deal with Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman Harry Angping at the moment.
Through Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, Malacanang on Wednesday said Angping is staying put as head of the government sports agency despite calls by the POC Executive Board to have him replaced for overlapping the work of his office.
At the same time, Ermita appealed to the Olympic body headed by president Jose ‘Peping’ Cojuangco for them to give the former Manila congressman a chance.
“It is not for us to immediately jump into the suggestion to change him,” said Ermita. “He is hardly two months (into the job) and sa lahat naman ng organization, nagkakaroon ng ganyang misunderstanding at siguro mapag-uusapan din nila yan.”
This developed as International Olympic Committee (IOC) representative to the Philippines Frank Elizalde made known that he is willing to sit down and talk with Angping to thresh out this latest issue involving two of the country’s top sports bodies.
Sources learned that a close friend of Angping texted Elizalde yesterday trying to arrange a meeting between the two sports leaders.
Elizalde made known he’ll explain to Angping the clear cut policy of the POC’s existence in relation with its affiliation with the IOC.
He admitted during the PSA Forum on Tuesday that the PSC chairman committed certain violations of the IOC charter, the most serious of which was the creation of the Aquatics Sports Task Force, a three-man sports body whose function is similar to what the Philippine Amateur Swimming Association (PASA) does.
The IOC official said such move by the PSC borders on government intervention, a violation that may cause possible suspension by the country from the Olympic body.
Angping is currently out of the country after accompanying Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines (ABAP) secretary general Patrick Gregorio and executive director Ed Piczon to Taiwan for a meeting with International Boxing Association (AIBA) president Ching-Kuo Wu.
He is set to return from Taipei today, but will leave again tomorrow for Hong Kong for the Asia-Oceania zone of the Davis Cup where Angping stands as head of the RP team delegation.
Ermita said he talked with the PSC chief shortly after news came out of the POC Executive Board’s demand for President Macapagal Arroyo to remove Angping from the sports agency.
“What I did was to call chairman Harry Angping, and he told me that I think it’s just a matter of trying to come to an understanding of the policies of both the PSC and POC,” said Ermita.
In front of sportswriters, Angping bared that President Arroyo is satisfied with what he has done with the PSC so far, a month after replacing William ‘Butch’ Ramirez as the country’s top sports czar.
“Congresswoman (Naida Angping) was with the President in her trip outside of the country last week and she was reporting to President Arroyo everything I am doing,” said Angping. “The President told her that `Harry is doing a good job. Keep it up.’”
Ermita claimed Angping was taken out of context on his stand with Fil-Am athletes.
“His statement was taken as though he is discriminating against these (Fil-Ams) who are already training in the US and for whom so much money had been spent. So parang minasama ng other organization (POC) ‘yung statement niya, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he has made the decision not to include in the selection those who are already training in the U.S.
“As a matter of policy, he would like the PSC to send the money equally and equitably distribute the amount available,” added the Palace official.