PHILIPPINE Olympic Committee (POC) president Jose ‘Peping’ Cojuangco blasted first vice-president Manny Lopez for his claims that the country’s Olympic body is not respecting the autonomy of National Sports Associations (NSAs).
In the weekly POC radio program, Cojuangco stressed that NSAs will have to naturally follow the POC since they are all under the Olympic body.
“If you join an association, you follow the rules of the association,” Cojuangco said in the radio program aired on DZSR Sports Radio 918. “If you don’t follow, you quit.”
“We (in the POC) are under the IOC. If you can’t follow the IOC, you quit.”
Lopez will be seeking for a fresh four-year mandate as first vice president in the coming POC elections on November 30, but not as part of Cojuangco’s ticket after a fall-out between the two former allies.
Lopez has since assumed the position as the leader of the opposition out to counter the bid of Cojuangco for a third term as POC chief.
One of the programs the former boxing chief wants to advance is `restoring the autonomy of the NSAs”, adding the POC should not meddle with the affairs of the sports associations.
Lopez added the POC’s actions towards the NSAs are hampering the development of sports in the country.
But Cojuangco said the NSAs are being given voice in the general assembly.
“Lahat ng rules ng POC ay approved by the general assembly. What is he talking about autonomy?” he said.
The former Tarlac congressman cited the persona non grata case of athletics chief Go Teng Kok, saying the POC doesn’t run its affairs with an iron fist.
“Ang alam ko si Manny Lopez ang nagpasimula niyan eh. All the members of the POC voted that he should be expelled. It’s not Peping Cojuangco. Sila ang gumawa ng rules, that’s not my rule,” Cojuangco said.
Cojuangco along with co-ticket Joey Romasanta – who will oppose Lopez in the first vice-president position - also criticized Lopez on how he ran the affairs of the Philippine Handball Federation as secretary general, and the handling of funds during his time as Chef de Mission of the 2012 London Olympics.
“Maraming nagtatanong ngayon kung ano nangyari sa pondo,” said Cojuangco.