Rep. Mikee Romero (1-Pacman Partylist) yesterday called on the heads of the national sports associations (NSAs) to avoid “politicking” and think of the country first and foremost so as not to disrupt the athletes’ preparations for the 2019 SEA Games which the country will be hosting later this year.
“Show your patriotism to the country by helping the Philippine Olympic Committee and the Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee in their massive tasks to stage a successful event,” said Romero. “Remember, our neighbors are closely watching us.”
Instead of sowing discord, Romero, who is chairman of the house sub-committee on Sports and vice chairman of the mother committee on Youth and Sports, said that as sports leaders they should work for a win-win solution knowing full well that the POC, under the leadership of Ricky Vargas, is doing its level best to make the coming SEA Games truly a memorable one in terms of hosting and achievements.
“I have known Mr. Vargas for quite some time now, he is an excellent leader and he has demonstrated this in the PBA Board,” said Romero, who owns NorthPort in the pro league aside from being the chair of the biggest polo association in the country.
“Our reputation is at stake here so better unite so you can help our athletes focus on their training instead of putting the POC in bad light,” said Romero. “You’re just destroying our image abroad.”
Romero, who served as Godfather of the 2007 Philippine national basketball team, was glad after Philippine Sports Commission chairman Butch Ramirez has accepted the challenge of the POC to become the country’s chef de mission for the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.
Ramirez initially declined the offer, saying he’s already helping the country’s preparations as head of the government’s sports arm.
“Good thing Chairman Ramirez has accepted the position of chef de mission.” said Romero. “Our athletes are now in good hands.”
The sporting community was caught by surprise last Tuesday after Vargas stripped former POC chief Jose “Peping” Cojuangco, Jr. of his power as chairman of the constitution and bylaws committee and Monsour Del Rosario as chief of mission for the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.
Romero said Filipinos—whether sports officials, athletes or even plain sports fans—should stand and fight as one.