By TITO S. TALAO
Philippine Sports Commission chairman Butch Ramirez used a Visayan term – that when loosely translated would mean ‘there will be hell to pay’ – to respond to a question during an impromptu press conference Thursday night in Pasay City.
Thankfully, the largely Tagalog-speaking sports editors didn’t need Google the word to find out, being familiar with the expression.
Asked how Malacañang, which sponsored a Unity Meeting among major sports stakeholders last week, would react to rumors that the outcome of the recent Philippine Olympic Committee elections is being disregarded by a particular faction within the organization, Ramirez went regional.
“Sa Bisaya, we say, ‘magkakalintikan,’” he said, mirth gone from his face.
“I’ve been silent for a long time, but not anymoe,” Ramirez said. “Kahit sino ka diyan. Presidente ang nasa likod ko kaya walang dapat katakutan. I have my orders and I intend to follow them.”
How Ramirez would take the news that newly-elected POC president Bambol Tolentino walked into a quorum-less first board meeting yesterday is uncertain. His words the night before point to an hour of reckoning though.
“We mean business. It’s time to stand up and take the lead. No more Mr. Nice Guy,” he said.
The PSC chief also called the attention of more than two dozen National Sports Associations which as of August 1 have yet to submit their list of final athletes for the coming Southeast Asian Games, and eight which haven’t sent accreditation forms.
Among the 25 whose final rosters are being awaited are federations from basketball, volleyball, golf, bowling, aquatics, athletics, gymnastics, chess, karatedo, softball and football.
Included in the 35 early compliers are baseball, wushu, taekwondo, billiards, triathlon, shooting, ice skating, boxing, billiards, weightlifting, fencing, jiu jitsu, cycling, archery and triathlon.
The PSC also repeated its call to basketball, chess, e-sports, football, kickboxing, polo, skateboarding and wakeboarding to find haste in submitting their accreditation forms.
As chef de mission of the Philippine delegation in the SEAG, Ramirez said he and his team have been holding “heart to heart talks” with the NSAs, reminding them that only deserving athletes will get to participate in the regional meet which the country is hosting three months from now.
“Maganda na rin pala na hindi NSA ang CDM,” he said. “As of now, pag me problema, kami na ang gumagawa ng solution.”
The POC leadership squabble, Ramirez admitted, may have had some effect on the training of the athletes. But he insisted the continued dispute cannot be a means to justify the end.
“Di sapat ang gulo na yon as an excuse for bad performance,” he said.