PHILIPPINE Olympic Committee president Jose ‘Peping’ Cojuangco lambasted people and media who have been critical of the country’s showing in the 2013 Southeast Asian Games, saying these critics are either paid hacks or practicioners of 'jukebox journalism' or are plain dumb.
Speaking during the awarding of cash incentives to medal-winning athletes on Friday night at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City, Cojuangco urged the athletes present not to listen to criticism of the country's seventh-place finish in Myanmar - the worst in the Philippine's history.
“Don’t listen to those characters who wrote things about being this and being that,” the POC chief said when it was his turn to speak during the awards rites.
"Dalawang klase lang ‘yan, mga jukebox, ibig sabihin kapag nahulugan ng pera, hindi na lalabas ‘yung kanta," he continued. "'Yung iba naman, masyadong tatanga-tanga, hindi nakakaintindi ng sports.”
The Philippines won 29 gold medals in the SEA Games and finished seventh in what was the country’s worst placing since joining the biennial meet in 1977.
Still, Cojuangco, who batted for a lean and mean PH delegation in the wake of host Myanmar's decision to include several non-Olympic sports in the SEAG calendar, said the athletes should stick to the positives of the campaign, pointing to the 34 silver and 38 bronzes the Filipino athletes won.
“Pero ‘yung mga nakakaintindi talaga kung paano kayo naghirap, nagsakripisyo, ‘yung hirap na dinaanan nyo, pagkaagrabyado ninyo sa mga kalaban pero ganun pa man pinahirapan niyo sila, ‘yun ang pakinggan ninyo,” Cojuangco said.
Cojuangco urged athletes to continue in their hardwork and sacrifices despite the limited resources given to them.
“Tuloy lang natin ang mga ginagawa natin. Gaganda at gaganda ‘yan. Darating din ang oras na ‘yung mga kailangan natin ay mabibigay sa atin ng Panginoon para mas maganda at nakahanda tayong lumaban sa kanila, at ipapakita natin kung anong klaseng atleta tayo,” said Cojuangco.
In the same event, Philippine Sports Commission chairman Ritchie Garcia agreed with Cojuangco’s statement as he congratulated all the athletes for representing the country very well in the SEA Games.
“I would like to congratulate everyone, nanalo or natalo. You brought honor to the country,” said Garcia.