THE Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) has not been remiss in its obligation to help the campaign of Filipino figure skater Michael Martinez in the Sochi Winter Games in Russia.
Chairman Richie Garcia disclosed the PSC gave out a check worth $7,200 (or about P314,013.60) to the family of Martinez coursed through the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), which wrote the government sports agency requesting for financial support for the country's lone bet in the Winter Games.
Garcia, who just arrived from Sochi last Monday, said POC secretary-general Steve Hontiveros brought with him the voucher in Russia which was handed to the Martinez family.
Garcia came out with the statements amid anger on social media networks fed by an online reports claiming Martinez failed to get any financial support from the Philippine government.
In an interview granted to The Catholic Register, his mother Maria Terese Martinez said she had to mortgage their home just to finance the Olympic participation of her son in Sochi.
“I don’t even think anyone at the president's office knows there's a Filipino skating in the Olympics,” she said in the same interview.
Besides, the PSC chief said no less than Hans Sy of the SM Group of Companies assured him that he’ll take care of the campaign and participation of the 17-year-old pride of Muntinlupa.
“I instructed (Pochollo) Veguillas not to request for funding from the government,” Garcia quoted Sy as saying during their talk, Veguillas being the president of the Philippine Skating Union, the acknowledged national sports association of skating in the country.
“So sagot niya (Sy), kaya wala kaming issue, kasi nandiyan siya.”
And as far as Garcia can recall, Sy is giving the Filipino figure skater P100,000 in allowances and P1.5 million for his participation in the Olympics, for his training, among others.
“I cannot verify it pero sinabi niya (Veguillas). I don’t know kung ano pa ang iba. Pero ang mahal diyan ay yung coaching. But I presume sagot din ni Hans yun, dahil kung hindi niya sasagutin yun susulat siya sa amin.”
Martinez has Russian Victor Kudyavtsev for his coach.
“Saan ba kami nagkasala dito? Where did we make a mistake?” Garcia asked.
“If there is already somebody telling you sagot ko na ito, kumain kayo sa restaurant tapos sinabi nito sagot ko na, pero dahil may pera din ako binayaran ko rin, hindi naman siguro tama yun,” added the PSC chief.