PHILIPPINE Sports Commission (PSC) officials led by Commissioner Ramon Fernandez were barred from 'observing' the closed-door general assembly of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) on Monday.
Fernandez said PSC officials went to the Wack Wack Golf and Country Club in Mandaluyong City on the instructions of chairman William Ramirez to observe the proceedings that would pave the way for a re-election by the Olympic body on Friday.
However, Fernandez and fellow PSC commissioners Charles Maxey, Celia Kiram, and Arnold Agustin weren't allowed to enter the premises.
“We were sent by the chairman to observe what’s going on. We asked permission if we can be observers. Hindi daw kami puwede. Uuwi na lang kami,” said the basketball great.
POC spokeperson and Surigao Del Norte Rep. Prospero Pichay clarified the PSC officials were allowed to observe the proceedings, but not inside the function room where the general assembly was held.
“Ang pinatawag lang ay members ng POC sa general assembly. Hindi naman harmful ‘yung papasukin mo sila pero it might influence also because the money comes from them," Pichay said. "It might influence the NSAs. We don’t want that to happen. We are just protecting the integrity of the POC.”
Pichay added the PSC officials' presence in the assembly may be seen as government intervention, which is frowned upon by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
“I explained it to them. Sabi ko, 'Para naman hindi tayo magkakaroon ng semblance of government intervention,'” Pichay said.