Ramirez offers to mediate before POC legal wrangle leads to IOC sanctions
PSC chairman Butch Ramirez, pictured right with Commissioner Mon Fernandez, has invited to mediate in the dispute between POC president Peping Cojuangco and disqualified presidential candidate Ricky Vargas of the boxing association. 

PHILIPPINE Sports Commission (PSC) chairman Butch Ramirez has offered to mediate for the two warring groups in the Philippine Olympic Committee, if only to prevent a possible suspension from the International Olympic Committee.

Ramirez has called on incumbent Jose ‘Peping’ Cojuangco and staunch rival Ricky Vargas of the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP) to resolve their differences in a gentlemanly manner, inviting both sports leaders to meet, sit down, and talk together right in his office.

The PSC chief said he’ll be waiting for both Cojuangco and Vargas until Wednesday afternoon at his office, where Presidential Adviser on Sports Dennis Uy will also be present.

“As chairman of the PSC, I’m offering the two groups to meet in my office on neutral ground, meet, and talk like gentlemen,” said Ramirez in a statement late Tuesday.

“For the sake of our country, athletes, and children, I’m offering this before the POC can be suspended, a last-ditch effort for the sake of the country, athletes, and children.”

[See Vargas camp expects decision on TRO to come out on eve of POC elections]

Ramirez made the offer just a few hours after Judge Elma Lingan of the Pasig Regional Trial Court 159 heard the oral arguments on the Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) which the group of Vargas is seeking against the POC election of officers set this Friday.

Vargas sought the TRO after he was disqualified from running for president by the POC election committee headed by former IOC representative to the Philippines Frank Elizalde.

The IOC staunchly protects the independence of the Olympic movement from the executive and judicial branch of government, consistently sanctioning national associations which get mired in legal disputes.

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