A GROUP calling for the ouster of Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Jose 'Peping' Cojuangco held a protest at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum on Thursday, confident it can sway other officials in the national Olympic body to join their call.
At least 100 persons joined the protest rally led by disgruntled officials Philippine Volleyball Federation (PVF) president Edgardo 'Boy' Cantada and Philippine Swimming League (PSL) chairman and former Senator Nikki Coseteng.
Also in the protest were PSL secretary general Susan Papa, Philippine Dragon Boat Federation (PDBF) president Marcia Cristobal, and former Philippine Football Federation (PFF) official Johnny Romualdez.
Meantime, Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) commissioner Ramon Fernandez, a staunch critic of Cojuangco, organized a separate protest in Cebu.
Former PSC chairman Aparicio 'Perry' Mequi, who spearheaded the protest in Manila, is confident the group will be able to gain support from other sectors, even though he admitted the rally may not be successful in terms of numbers.
"In terms of numbers, if you are going to judge rallies by numbers, then siguro you can say that it is not (successful). But remember, revolutions start not in great many people. It starts with one person," said Mequi.
Mequi added they will continue to call on the government to charge Cojuangco, who under his leadership was allegedly unable to liquidate government money from different projects including the country's hosting of the 2005 SEA Games.
"We will keep pressuring anybody, POC and the PSC, but we are going to pressure the government to file charges against Peping Cojuangco," said Mequi.
Mequi also called on NSAs under the POC wing to call for Cojuangco's ouster for the sake of Philippine sports and patriotism.
"I'm appealing to the POC, the NSAs, and for heavens sake, to Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworski. It can only be Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworski who can tell the International Olympic Committee that something is wrong with the POC. If she doesn't convey that, walang mangyayari," said Mequi.
"If you are patriotic, isa lang ang gagawin ninyo, re-organize," said Mequi.
Mequi said he also doesn't mind if the Philippines will be suspended by the International Olympic Committee for government intervention, once the court enters the picture.
"Whatever it is, what we want is change. If the change will come through suspension from IOC, okay lang. Kasi ano ba maganda, we are not suspended by the IOC and we keep on participating pero 'yung mga athletes natin, napapahiya," said Mequi.
Cantada said they have "nothing-to-lose" in holding the protest on Thursday.
"We already know Cojuangco and his gang are corrupt, unfair, and too senile to admit they are useless to remain in the POC. Now, we realize they are also deaf to the cries of the Filipino athletes. We have nothing-to-lose in this exercise, Mr. Cojuangco. But when you step down, Philippine sports has everything to gain," said Cantada.
Cojuangco is in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan for the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games and has yet to air his side on his matter.