AMIDST calls for Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Jose 'Peping' Cojuangco's ouster, Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman William 'Butch' Ramirez stressed the need to seriously sit down with their counterparts in the national Olympic body as well as national sports associations following the aftermath of the country's dismal showing in the 29th Southeast Asian Games.
In a PSC press conference on Monday following the SEA Games, Ramirez said unity among the sports stakeholders is a must especially after the Philippines collected only 24 gold medals in this year's biennial meet, the least since the 1999 edition where it won 19.
"We would like to sit down seriously kasi nagbabasa ako ng newspapers and even in social media, it's not good to read all they are writing against the NSAs and the POC. Kami naman sa PSC, ayaw na namin dagdag kami diyan," said Ramirez.
Ramirez's statements came following calls for Cojuangco to give up the POC post following the 29th SEA Games.
Former PSC chairman Dr. Aparicio 'Perry' Mequi on social media made a call to stage a rally on September 21 at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex, to oust Cojuangco after the Philippines' sad performance in the 29th SEA Games.
PSC commissioner Ramon Fernandez has also been active on social media, even prior to the SEA Games, against Cojuangco, who, critics claim, should already step down from his post as the country's performance in the biennial meet has been dipping since he took the POC presidency 13 years ago in 2004.
Ramirez, however, took a different tone, saying now is the time to stay united after the SEA Games debacle.
"We want to send it clear na we want to sit down para lahat tayo pareho (direction). Kapag bumagsak ang barko, bagsak tayo. Kapag umangat, aangat tayo," said Ramirez.
Being answerable to the Filipino people as the lead government agency in sports, Ramirez is also willing to mediate between the Cojuangco and the anti-Cojuangco camp for the benefit of Philippine sports.
"We need to sit down. Ngayon pa lang, magkasundo na tayo. Madali kong sabihin yan. Ano ang isasagot ko sa taong bayan, na walang laman ang puso at utak ng mga sports leaders na hindi magkasundo. As a chairman of the PSC, I'm really forced to sit down with them, whether we like it or not," said Ramirez.