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New senator says he’d be vigilant.
Sen. Manny Pacquiao yesterday urged the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) to heed the administration’s call for unparalleled public service even as he called on sports leaders to find the blueprint that can put an end to the country’s elusive hunt for the gold medal in the Olympics.
Pacquiao, the chairman of the Senate committee on sports, told PSC chairman Butch Ramirez to fulfill his duty to the athletes in line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s instructions.
“I am hoping that your leadership in the PSC will be good because I will also be here for six years and I want to see the proper implementation of programs for athletes,” said Pacquiao, who was joined during the hearing by committee vice-chair Joel Villanueva, Panfilo Lacson, Tito Sotto, Sherwin Gatchalian and Sonny Angara.
“I want you to address corruption (in the PSC) because this government doesn’t want any of it.”
Pacquiao didn’t plan to grill the PSC and two officials of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) – Cynthia Carrion and Tom Carrasco – but promised that he will have no choice but to do so if he confirms that corruption exists involving the PSC and the POC in the release of funds.
“I am just gathering more information and getting myself acquainted but I will be monitoring,” said Pacquiao.
Also on deck were newly-appointed Games and Amusements Board chairman Abraham Mitra and boxing division chief Dr. Nasser Cruz and other high-profile sports officials but they were told to return when Pacquiao calls another meeting.
Ramirez, an appointee of Duterte, told the Senate that the agency is in the process of coming up with a masterplan “by the end of September” that will address the pressing issues concerning the athletes.
There are still a handful of Filipino bets trying their luck in Rio but it doesn’t look like the gold medal quest will end in this Olympics.
“The next Olympics will be in 2020 (in Tokyo) so we have to do our best to finally win a gold there,” said the 38-year-old Pacquiao, who returns to the ring on Nov. 5 in Las Vegas.