Butch Ramirez not interested in return to PSC chairman's post, says Duterte spokesman
“Mayor Duterte has always been a supporter of sports, you can expect him to be behind our athletes and their needs,” says spokesman Pete Lavina. Snow Badua

THE spokesperson of presumptive President Rodrigo Duterte said on Thursday former Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman William 'Butch' Ramirez is not interested in a return to the government sports agency.

In an interview after a press briefing at the Marco Polo Davao, Pete Laviña said Ramirez was considered for the position as chairman of the sports body, but he said the latter immediately declined.

Lavina did not elaborate on the reason why Ramirez, who was an integral part of the Duterte campaign team, declined the post. But he added that the transition team is now on the lookout for new candidates.

“We will try to find someone there (PSC), we are looking at a number of suggestions,” Laviña said.

Shortly after a Duterte presidency became certain, some Manila-based sportswriters had earlier speculated a Ramirez return to the agency which he served as commissioner and later chairman during the time of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

A veteran scribe said the PSC may be too “small” for Ramirez, who could be eyeing a bigger office.

There were also questions whether Ramirez is qualified to be appointed to the PSC or other government agencies because of pending administrative cases dating back to his tenure as PSC chairman.

Laviña bared the transition team has already discussed the sports agenda under a Duterte presidency, saying among the more pressing concerns is the Philippine delegation to the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.

“We have to address the needs of the athletes going to the Olympics because there is too little time to prepare. That one is among the urgent concerns. As to the appointments and policies, we are working on it,” Laviña said.

“Mayor Duterte has always been a supporter of sports, you can expect him to be behind our athletes and their needs.”

The Duterte Transition Committee is composed of campaign manager Leoncio Jun Evasco; assistant campaign manager and executive assistant Christopher 'Bong' Go; Carlos G. Dominguez, former cabinet member and head of the campaign finance committee; lawyers Salvador Medialdea and Loreto Ata, Duterte’s personal lawyers, and Laviña, the head of the Duterte-Cayetano media team.

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