Mendoza: PSC very much alive in Seag

Al Mendoza

AS THE 30th SEA Games will now chug on irreverently or otherwise, time now to doff our hats to William “Butch” Ramirez, the chairman of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC).

There are some detractors saying the PSC had been unceremoniously bumped off from the scheme of things in the Games.

Of course, there’s not an iota of truth to that.

While it may be true that the PSC had nothing to do with the Palace release of the P6.5 billion for the Games, it does not mean the government agency tasked to look after the financial aspect of our athletes’ needs has no role at all in the 11-nation regional meet.

As PSC Commissioner Charles Maxey had so succinctly put it: “The SEAG budget of P6.5 billion was just coursed through us in accordance with protocol, but it was Speaker Cayetano who had worked on its Malacañang approval when he was still the Foreign Affairs Secretary last year.”

And how can PSC not be in the day-to-day operations of the SEAG from Day One when PSC chairman Ramirez is himself the Chef de Mission of the Philippine Team to the Games?

And Ramirez might just make us overall champion again, as what he had also done when he held that position in 2005 when we last hosted the Games.

Who knows lightning might strike twice—again?

Exhorting the athletes two days before the Games, Ramirez, who had earmarked P1 billion last year for the athletes’ exposure overseas, hiring of both foreign coaches and scientific nutritionists, said: “Go for the gold as if your life depends on it... We expect nothing less than a 100 percent effort from our athletes performing in front of their countrymen, who will surely come in droves to support you.”

Seemingly, Cayetano, the overall chairman of the SEAG Organizing committee, is right when he said he smelled some demolition job against him and his men, seeking only a “complete failure” of the Games.

I can’t wait for him to expose them after the event.

Meanwhile, let’s get the business of winning done away first.

There is a time for everything.