PALACE DENIES YARN ABOUT COMMISH BUHAIN REPLACED BY DUDUT JAWORSKI

MALACANANG, OCTOBER 22, 2003 (STAR) Malacañang last night denied reports that Philippine Sports Commission chairman Eric Buhain has been replaced by Sen. Robert Jaworski’s son Robert, Jr., popularly known as Dudut.

Deputy spokesman Ricardo Saludo told The STAR that there is no truth to reports that Buhain has been ousted as chief of the government sports agency.

The news reports also caught Buhain by surprise. The PSC chief said that if ever there is any appointment made by Malacañang, he should be the first to know.

"I haven’t received any instruction from the President and I wasn’t told about anything yet," said Buhain. "But I serve at the pleasure of the President and I have been loyal to her instructions in the sports community."

A news item on Buhain’s replacement came out yesterday in a daily tabloid and picked up by an early morning television news-feature program for its news line created a stir in the sports community, including down south in Mati, Davao Oriental, where the PSC is staging the third Mindanao Games.

It was the second time in three weeks that reports went the round in the sports circle alleging that a new chair has replaced Buhain.

The unconfirmed news item on Jaworski’s appointment is no different from previous reports indicating a revamp at the PSC. Besides the Jaworki’s son, three other names cropped up as Buhain’s "replacement."

First to be floated, surprisingly by the government’s news agency, the Philippine News Agency, was former commissioner Eli Bontigao.

Next was another former commissioner, Ritchie Garcia, who is said to have the backing of San Miguel Corp. chief Eduardo Cojuangco Jr.

Arnold Atienza, son of Manila Mayor Lito Atienza and chairman of the Manila Sports Council, was also thrown into the fray. The young Atienza belied the report.

The elder Jaworski, reacting to the report, was quoted in the television station’s news line late morning yesterday that he acknowledged the "offer" to his son and that they "turned it down" and at the same time thanked Malacañang for the gesture.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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