Malaya - Job for the ‘capo de tutti’- Clarito Samson

‘We need the real capo to provide the vision, enjoin the private sector and monitor, ensure that everyone toes the line’

MILAN. – Lost in the current post-Olympics blame game is the private character of the Philippine Olympic Committee, its stature as an autonomous institution that abides by the precepts of its mother organization, the International Olympic Committee, plays politics within the perimeters of its fence, and makes policies good only for its ranks.

The National Sports Associations that fall under the umbrella of the POC are, on many occasions, beggars that regularly knock on the doors of the Philippine Sports Commission, an agency under the Office of the President that determines who gets what part of the pie from the P50 million a month provided by the Philippine Amusements and Gaming Corp.

We would rather have a rain check on the issue of corruption in all of the organizations, lest we occupy our space with a litany and lose sight of the issue being raised.

What should be a performance-based process, however, is reduced to a childish war confined to showboating PSC commissioners and a chairman who scramble for “hip pocket accounts” that are the regular performers and occasionally feed the bit players or those who strike every once in a while in the international arena. This is how they build up “pogi” points. The rest of the NSAs are just numbers in the scheme of things, good only when the POC election comes, in this case in November.

Given these prevailing conditions, do we really want, sorry for the term, mendicants to carry out our national policy-making chores or do we seek the wisdom of the Big Boss, the Italian “capo de tutti” or boss of bosses, to take charge, do and say something inspiring that we all can rally behind?

To be fair with POC president Jose Cojuangco Jr., the institution has achieved a certain measure of success in cleaning house under his stewardship. It is far from squeaky clean but already better than when demagogues and self-proclaimed Olympism experts ran the show.  As digital karma would have it, they got the boot for violation of ethical standards.

Politics, the deplorable variety, is still played in the POC by wanna-be presidents of the 40-member body and some NSA leaders who drool over business in sports, private sponsorships plus government support equals income, to which should-be beneficiary athletes know nothing about.

This raging debate that has drawn the interest of no less than a Senator of the Republic, whose link to sports is zilch, whose empty claim to the presidency of a sports organization of which he is not member is going nowhere.

Sen. Antonio Trillanes’ wishes and calls for NSAs to replace Mr. Cojuangco is, at best, laughable. It is no different from a basketball player yelling, egging “depensa, depensa” to four other teammates that rushed to their defensive end while he opted to be left behind at the other side. It would be a shame to name Trillanes a member of our Mythical Five in sports leadership even if he tows Magdalo in full battle gear to convince us.

While Philippine sports is presently limping, let us find and then actively support a new set of surgeons to address the causes of disability. At this juncture, the lead surgeon cannot be a myopic politician, gunning for another term at the Senate and that the POC rules have already rejected.

Sorry to insist but this is a job for the Main Man, he who is animated by sports like shooting and billiards, yet does not want to put his foot down because Mr. Cojuangco is a controversial uncle, predicament that is the total reverse in the case of Gintong Alay wonder Michael Keon and former President Ferdinand Marcos.

We need the real capo to provide the vision, enjoin the private sector and monitor, ensure that everyone toes the line.  If the POC and the NSAs go astray, close the faucet and let their throats dry up. Then you can build your own team. The resources are with you and we are confident national athletes would have no issue getting marching orders directly from the capo.

The politics then and the politics of today are completely different but we sure could use the success rate then when the uncle and the nephew saw eye-to-eye.