PHILIPPINE Olympic Committee (POC) president Jose ‘Peping’ Cojuangco has hit back at Sen. Pia Cayetano over criticism of the selection policy for members of the national contingent to the Southeast Asian Games, saying her statements were "baseless."
Cojuangco made the statements in the POC’s weekly program on DZSR Sports Radio 918 after Cayetano slammed the POC and the Philippine Sports Commission for what she said were their "defeatist" policy of picking only sure or potential gold winners for the team bound for Myanmar in December.
Cojuangco said Cayetano should have talked to the POC or PSC in private first before criticizing the policy in a privilege speech on the Senate floor last Monday.
“We are being criticized without any basis,” said Cojuangco. “Sana tanungin niya muna kami, mahirap ‘yung mababasa na ng iba nating mga kababayan.”
Earlier this week, Cayetano slammed the POC and PSC’s policy which she said discriminates against other sports particularly teams like the men’s Under-23 and women’s football squads, and the women’s football team which didn’t passed the Task Force’s criteria.
Cayetano has not ruled out a Senate inquiry into the selection process.
But Cojuangco reiterated the POC made its stand of limiting participation in the biennial meet after Myanmar excluded several Olympic events from the Games calendar, most notably those where the Philippines is traditionally strong.
“There is something wrong (with this year’s SEA Games) na maski papaano, hindi naman tayo magpapakita na masaya tayo,” said Cojuangco.