DAVAO CITY - Amid a terror alert in Mindanao, the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) insisted activities lined up in the region including Thursday's Mindanao Children's Games will push through as scheduled.
Unless told by local authorities not to, PSC chairman William 'Butch' Ramirez said the government sports agency will push through with the Mindanao Children's Games where children will compete in 3x3 basketball, volleyball, and Filipino games in different parts of this city.
Ramirez said there is no plan to shelve the event after the declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao by President Rodrigo Duterte following the terror attacks in Marawi City on Tuesday.
"It's part of the Mindanao Sports for Peace Program for the Children. We would like to show to the world that peace-making starts with the children," said Ramirez on Wednesday during the PSC's Barangay Sports Education Lecture Series.
Two PSC contingents are currently in Mindanao for two separate activities, one of which was in Marawi City for a Philippine Sports Institute seminar and sports consultative meeting with LGUs when firefights occurred between alleged members of the Maute Group and the military.
Ramirez said the PSC team in Marawi that included Elma Muros-Posadas is now accounted for, assuring its safety as the contingent is now on its way to Iligan City to meet with his executive assistant Ronnel Abrenica.
Ramirez said the PSC sports consultative meeting in Marawi City has been cancelled.
"On the way na sila ngayon going to Iligan. Ronnel is trying to meet them somewhere and bring them to Davao for debriefing and entertain ng konti sa Paradise Island," said Ramirez.
"People have left Marawi already. It's very obvious that we have to stop our activity there. Aside from trying to be careful, we will always work with the local government and the police," he said.
Ramirez plans to consult within the day with Davao City mayor Sara Duterte on whether to continue with the Children of Davao Games events that will be held outdoors.
The opening ceremony is set on Thursday morning at Rizal Park here.
"We will consult with the local leadership headed by Mayor Sara Duturte. If she says this afternoon that we stop, we will stop our activities. We will just proceed with the classroom activities of local leaders kasi meron naman siyang story-telling and other activities."
"But our outside activities at Rizal Park, if Mayor Inday will tell us to cancel, we will cancel it," said Ramirez.
Ramirez said he is more determined to propagate the PSC's Mindanao Sports for Peace Program after the turn of events in Marawi City.
"In the midst of global terrorism, national tourism like the Marawi case, the more that I am focused on sports for peace activity using sports as a vehicle," said Ramirez.