PSC hands off as former officials set to join rally for Peping Cojuangco ouster on National Day of Protest

A RALLY calling for change in Philippine sports is set to take place on Thursday morning at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.

The rally, which occurs at the same time as the ‘National Day of Protest,’ is set at 9 a.m. up to 12 noon and is said to be led by former Philippine Sports Commission chairman Dr. Aparicio 'Perry' Mequi and Philippine Volleyball Federation president Edgardo 'Boy' Cantada.

PSC commissioner Ramon Fernandez, another staunch critic of Cojuangco, is also expected to attend the affair.

One of the calls of the group is for the resignation of Jose 'Peping' Cojuangco as president of the Philippine Olympic Committee.

According to the group who has been criticizing the POC president on social media, Cojuangco should already resign following several debacles in international competitions, the most recent being the 2017 Southeast Asian Games in Malaysia.

"In observance of the National Day of Protest, we are joining Filipino athletes, coaches, and deprived sports leaders on their quest for justice and fairness," said Cantada, whose PVF was stripped of recognition by the FIVB in favor of the Larong Volleyball ng Pilipinas Inc.

It remains to be seen, however, whether national athletes and coaches will take part in the said protest as no one, at least in public, has confirmed that they will be joining the rally.

A few national sports associations, particularly, athletics and boxing, have been quoted in newspapers that they are also not participating in the said rally, while the others are in Turkmenistan for the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games.

According to a press release by the group, however, former Senator Nikki Coseteng, president of the Philippine Swimming League, and former PSC chairman Eric Buhain are expected to lead the rally.

PSC chairman William 'Butch' Ramirez told employees of the government sports agency during Monday's flag-raising ceremony that he is taking a hands-off approach on the protest even with Fernandez' role in the rally.

"Kahit ako ay isang chairman, hindi ko puwedeng turuaan 'yung isang commissioner kung paano kami mag-behave. Hindi ko puwedeng sabihin na gawin mo 'to. Pinapaubaya ko na lang sa kanila," said Ramirez

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