The President has said ‘Proceed. No ifs, no buts,’ -- Ramirez on the SEA Games hosting in November
Mark Escarlote on Jun 20, 2019 04:09 PM
The President has said ‘Proceed. No ifs, no buts' -- Team Philippines Chef de Mission and PSC Chairman William 'Butch' Ramirez on hosting the SEA Games in November (Photo courtesy of PSC)
In the wake of a leadership change in the Philippine Olympic Committee and reports of the possibility of rescheduling the country’s hosting of the Southeast Asian Games to next year, Philippine Sports Commission chairman Butch Ramirez declared that the biennial meet will push through this November.
Talking to the media during a press briefing at the PSC headquarters on Thursday, Ramirez reiterated President Rodrigo Duterte’s instructions to hold the SEA Games this year as scheduled.
“I would like to inform the Southeast Asian federations, our brothers and to all Filipino people and to the Filipino sporting world that the order of the President no matter what of national interest and commitment to proceed with the November 30 Southeast Asian Games,” said Ramirez.
Ramirez’s statement came after POC president Joey Romasanta, who assumed the spot vacated by Ricky Vargas on Tuesday, considered the possibility of pushing the SEA Games hosting back to the first quarter of next year.
Romasanta on Wednesday said that he instructed former POC secretary general Steve Hontiveros to call for an emergency SEA Games Federation Council meeting to brief the 10 other member countries on the latest development in the Philippine preparations for the SEA Games.
He said that they need to find a solution on the issues regarding the hosting build up including the legitimacy of the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (Phisgoc) Foundation, Inc., headed by Taguig Congressman-elect Alan Peter Cayetano, which he said operates a SEAG organizing team without board approval from the POC.
Ramirez reported that he met with Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, who relayed the President's instructions to the sports chief.
“The President is aware of the issues but directed us to keep our focus on the athletes and let the others sort out their issues within their ranks," he said.
"We must isolate our athletes from all these issues so they can focus on their mission," added Ramirez, who is also the Chef de Mission of Team Philippines in the SEAG.
Ramirez, who is set to host a fellowship assembly between the NSAs, national coaches and athletes on July 5, was firm in saying that the SEA Games will push through despite the issues with the POC.
“The president has said ‘Proceed. No ifs, no buts,’” said Ramirez.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles