Jose ‘Peping’ Cojuangco and Harry Angping MANILA, Philippines]

MANILA, MARCH 18, 2009 (STAR) By Abac Cordero - Philippine Olympic Committee president Jose “Peping” Cojuangco is now ready to sit down with Philippine Sports Commission chairman Harry Angping.

The POC chief, fresh from a successful trip to Kuwait, told yesterday’s PSA Forum at Shakey’s UN Avenue that the meeting should take place as soon as possible.

“We have to sit down,” said Cojuangco who two weeks ago called for the removal of Angping from the PSC post because of differences with the POC.

“Maybe we can meet before the end of this month,” he said.

Angping, meanwhile, said he is willing to sign a memorandum of agreement with the POC chief to ensure peace and harmony between the two associations.

“We can prepare it and sign the MOA so after the Holy Week we can go back to business of preparing the national team for the Laos SEA Games,” said Angping, the PSC chairman.

Angping welcomed news that Cojuangco is now ready to sit down with the former for the sake of Philippine sports and the welfare of the national athletes.

“I welcome the development because each week that passes by and we don’t resolve this the athletes suffer,” said Angping.

“I always believed that the PSC and the POC must work together if we want to get the desired result. The POC has the athletes and the PSC has the funds so we should work together and produce winners,” he added.

Like Cojuangco, Angping said a meeting should take place as soon as possible.

“Time is of the essence. So as soon as possible we must sit down then sign the memorandum of agreement and go to work,” said Angping.

“Right from the start the issues they raised against me were mere differences in opinion and policies,” said Angping.

“Maybe I was running too fast they couldn’t catch up with me. I have no personal grudge against anyone,” he said last week after a meeting with IOC representative to the Philippines Frank Elizalde.

Cojuangco and Angping crossed paths on a number of issues, including the formation of the RP team to the Laos SEA Games in December, and NSA affairs.

The POC executive committee came up with a resolution signed by 14 members accusing Angping of interference in POC affairs, and discrimination against Fil-foreign athletes.

But Cojuangco said that the International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge wished that the POC and the PSC patch things up.

“He (Rogge) told us to ‘try and get along with your government but at the same time try to protect your autonomy.’ Then Mr. Rogge said they will support us,” Cojuangco said in the session sponsored by Shakey’s, Accel, Pagcor and Outlast Battery.

“When there’s good cooperation between NOC (National Olympic Committee) and government there are good results. So, try and mend fences,” he also remembered the IOC president as saying.

Cojuangco said during the chairmanship of Butch Ramirez at the PSC, they also had differences in opinion but somehow they managed to “get along well.”

Now the POC chief wants the same thing to happen with the PSC under Angping because “the objective is to produce winning athletes.”

Cojuangco was in Kuwait last week to attend a meeting among members of the Olympic Council of Asia. In that meeting he got a chance to sit down with Rogge.

The POC chief also presented to the OCA the POC proposal to build its own sports complex inside Hacienda Luisita, a vast sugar plantation owned by the family of Cojuangco.

“And so we were given $50,000 (or almost P2.5 million) to come up with a development plan then present it back to them,” said Cojuangco, who is looking at a 50-hectare area as site.

The land will be leased from the Cojuangco Group of Companies for P1 a year as long as it will be used for the sports complex and for the benefit of the national athletes. 

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

All rights reserved