The camp of Ricky Vargas welcomes the senate investigation on an allegedly anomalous financial assistance from the government that has yet to be liquidated fully by the Philippine Olympic Committee, and the disqualification of candidates for the coming POC election.
This is what lawyer Chito Salud said yesterday, hoping that the senate inquiry would provide answers, especially on the aspect of the disqualification of Vargas by the election committee.
“We would welcome a Senate probe on POC issues,” said Salud, a former PBA commissioner who is now a spokesperson for the ABAP president. “It highlights two important reasons why Ricky Vargas is presenting an alternative leadership: Greater transparency and accountability.”
“We believe that it should be fairly easy for the POC to account for the public money it received from the PSC.”
“What would be puzzling is if these funds have indeed remained unliquidated over the years.
The POC should publicly disclose how and where the money was utilized,” added Salud.
“It should do so without further delay to allay growing concerns regarding non- transparency in its financial transactions. Basic norms of good governance demand this,” said Salud.
In a two-page resolution, the Senate committee on sports, has asked top POC officials leaded by incumbent president Jose “Peping” Cojuangco Jr. to appear before the chamber for an inquiry.
In the letter signed by committee member Sen. Sonny Angara, it mentioned the unliquidated money of P129.6 million the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) gave to the POC from 2010 and until this year.
“There is a need to resolve this issue immediately as the continuous turmoil within the POC would hinder development of the Philippine sports – a source of national pride and inspiration and an instrument for national-building,” said Angara in the letter.
Manny Pacquiao, who recently captured the WBO welterweight title following a unanimous decision against Mexican-American Jessy Vargas, heads the committee for sports in the Senate.
As for the disqualification issue, the senate will likewise tackle – in aid of legislation – the matter after the POC’s three-man panel junked the motion of Vargas to reverse an earlier decision to disqualify him to run for president in the Nov. 25 POC elections.