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Rally against Peping went kaput

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By Lito Oredo

What was expected to be a grand opposition assembly Thursday turned out into a simple gathering of sports officials, coaches and unmindful group of students sent to make a report on the issues and controversies on the move asking for the resignation of Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Jose “Peping” Cojuangco.

Hundreds of empty seat and just a little portion only of the historic Rizal Memorial Coliseum were occupied during the supposed rally reportedly to be all attended by athletes and officials of national sports associations (NSAs) that has gone fed up on the leadership and maneuverings of four-term POC president Cojuanco.

Instead, a handful of officials headed by former Senator Nicki Coseteng, ex-Philippine Bowling Congress president Jaime Mallilin, past Philippine Football Federation president Rene Adad, Philippine Swimming League president Susan Papa and former PSC Chairman Aparicio Mequi took turns in citing reasons for their call “Peping Resign.”

The assembly was supposed to go to the streets to expose the need for change in the leadership in the lone private organization in sports in the country but instead settled in the confines of the historic basketball court with all of its attendance merely not going a hundred.

Former PSC Chairman Aparicio Mequi said they are now planning to file a corruption case as against Cojuangco for mismanagement of funds coming from the government sports agency Philippine Sports Commission (PSC).

“They are just a bunch of disgruntled officials,” a POC official who requested anonymity said. “They just want to gain publicity and attention when in fact they are completely out of the organization of sports in the country,” adds source.

Names like Eric Buhain, Richard Gordon and Bongbong Marcos were mentioned to have thrown their support but was nowhere in the assembly.