By Nick Giongco
Former basketball star Ramon Fernandez yesterday vowed to go after Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Jose ‘Peping’ Cojuangco Jr. on the alleged misuse of funds it received from the previous administration of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC).
Fernandez, one of four PSC commissioners, posted on his social media account: Peping WAIT FOR ME WHEN I GET BACK. The feud between Fernandez and Cojuangco, 82, intensified when the former Tarlac lawmaker accused the ex-Toyota standout of game fixing during his PBA days.
“Traditional politician and mudslinger,” Fernandez told the Bulletin from Japan as he brushed off Cojuangco’s allegations that he threw away games during his storied 20-year career mostly with Toyota and San Miguel.
Fernandez noted that Cojuangco has financial obligations that remain unliquidated in past dealings and projects that were sanctioned by the PSC of then chairman Ricardo Garcia.
In fact, the PSC even received a letter from the Commission on Audit in July last year asking that POC secretary general Steve Hontiveros to return more than P27-million that were spent during the hosting of the 2005 Southeast Asian Games.
Fernandez is also finalizing the documents that will list the PSC’s regular flow of assistance to the POC from 2010 until the first half of 2016 that included funding for the seminars of POC officials to various trips abroad and other POC activities.
Fernandez is due to be back in the country tomorrow night and Cojuangco said he’s ready to engage him over the issues Fernandez raised against him and the issues he has against the four-time PBA MVP awardee.
“Sige,” said Cojuangco yesterday, meaning let’s get ready to rumble. Cojuangco also has his hands full engaging PSC chairman William Ramirez in a verbal tussle over the training of elite athletes.
The POC president said the PSC has no business training athletes which he said is purely the domain of the POC.
Ramirez countered that if the PSC cannot participate in preparing athletes who get funding from them for training, travel and international competition, then the POC should try to raise its own funds and stop asking the PSC for financial support.