FORMER Games and Amusements Board (GAB) Chairman Dominador ‘Domeng’ Cepeda passed away on Sunday.
He was 86.
Cepeda headed the country’s regulatory body for professional sports from 1994 to 2001, serving under the terms of Presidents Ramos and Estrada.
Current GAB head Abraham ‘Baham’ Mitra and his office condoled with the family of his predecessor.
A lawyer, Cepeda also briefly served as commissioner of the Philippine Sports Commission during the time of former Manila Mayor Mel Lopez, according to former PSC liason officer Robert Evangelista, now with the Manila City Engineer's Office.
"Yes, Domeng Cepeda was with Cito Dayrit, Mario Raymundo, and Josie Bauzon," Evangelista recalled.
Ironically, Cepeda’s death came just a few days after fellow commissioner Dayrit passed away reportedly due to COVID-19. The former long-time president of the Philippine Fencing Association served as president of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) from 1999 to 2004.
"We mourn the passing of former PSC Commissioner Atty. Domeng Cepeda. I remember him always speaking up on behalf of sports, recognizing the value of investing in it," said PSC Chairman William 'Butch' Ramirez.
"He was part of the group behind the creation of RA 6847 (Philippine Sports Commission Act). The sports community lost one of its fine soldiers again."
It was in GAB where Cepeda would eventually established his niche in Philippine sports.
During his time with the agency, several Filipinos became world boxing champions, including a prominent one who would become the greatest fighter the country ever produced.
Among those who were crowned world champions under Cepeda's watch were Luisito Espinosa, Gerry Penalosa, Eric Jamili, Malcolm Tunacao, Joma Gamboa, and the legendary Manny Pacquiao.
Also during his tenure, the World Boxing Council (WBC) held its seminar in the country in 1996, was elected president of the Oriental Pacific Boxing Federation (OPBF).
He became WBC Asia legal counsel after his stint with GAB.
"We recognize his efforts and invaluable contributions to the growth of professional sports in the Philippines. He is truly an inspiration and his memory will live on forever. Rest in Chris's love, chairman Domeng," said Mitra in a statement.
Cepeda was honored by the GAB in 2019 during the 1st Professional Sports Summit held at the PICC.
Atty. Lucien Cepeda, the only child of the late GAB head, said owing to the current COVID-19 situation, the family is organizing virtual masses and novenas this week for the repose of his father's soul.
"There will be no physical wake to ensure the safety of the family as well as visitors. Will share the links once available," he said in a message.