JOSE ‘Peping’ Cojuangco on Thursday expressed confidence that the programs he had set out to do as Philippine Olympic Committee president will become a reality under the renewed cooperation of the POC and the Philippine Sports Commission.
Speaking during Thursday's election forum at the Philsports Audio Visual Room, Cojuangco, who is seeking a third term at the helm of the country's Olympic body, said he intends to pursue his programs with renewed vigor now that the POC is finally working together with the PSC.
“In all eight years (of my first two terms), we’ve encountered problems with the administration of the PSC,” said Cojuangco. “Now under the new leadership of the PSC, we are able to start off with programs that are really worthwhile.”
He mentioned such programs like the Batang Pinoy and the Philippine National Games. “Now that we have the Batang Pinoy and the National Games, we can now identify athletes. We now have people in the provinces who can beat national athletes,” said Cojuangco.
If voted to another term, Cojuangco also said he plans to house selected athletes at Philsports to undergo scientific training.
Running with Cojuangco under his United National Association (UNA) ticket are Tom Carrasco for chairman, Joey Romasanta for first vice president, Jeff Tamayo for second vice president, Julian Camacho for treasurer, Prospero Pichay for auditor, and Cynthia Carrion, Jonne Go, Dave Carter, and Ernesto Echauz for board members.
While Cojuangco’s ticket is focused on continuity, the opposition led by first vice president candidate Manny Lopez vowed excellence in leadership.
Lopez is joined in the opposition ticket by Monico Puentevella for chairman, Abraham Tolentino for second vice president, Romeo Ribano for treasurer, Godofredo Galindez for auditor, and Victor Africa, Gener Dungo, and Hector Navasero for board members.
Lopez, seeking a fresh mandate as POC vice president, said his performance in the past four years speaks for itself, citing the creation of an athletes commission, the entry of several sports to the POC family, and his role as the chief of mission in the 2012 London Olympics.
The group also plans to pursue programs such as an Olympic academy for students while promising to uphold the autonomy of the NSAs.
Ricky Palou, a member of the election committee, said the forum allowed the voting members to get to know the candidates better.
“We were satisfied and I think the NSA representatives were happy with the whole thing,” Palou said.
However, only half of the 43 voting members attended the forum. Some of the candidates themselves skipped the event.
Present in the forum were Cojuangco, Lopez, Romasanta, Puentevella, Ribano, Galindez, Carrion, Go, Carter, Africa, and Dungo. Puentevella, however, had to leave early for a prior engagement.
Go Teng Kok, who filed his candidacy as president, didn’t appear in the forum as his eligibility is still in question.