Lifting prexy humihingi ng ayuda kay Duterte

Sa posibleng kawalan ng tulong pinansiyal at suporta ng mga national athlete sa mga susunod na buwan dahil sa nagagapap na coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic ay, nanlilimos si Samahan ng Weightlfting sa Pilipinas (dating Philippine Weightlifting Association) president Monico Puentevella sa Palasyo ng Malakanyang.

Sa sulat niya kay Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte, kailangan aniya ng national weightlifting team at ng SWP dahil sa kawalan ng pondo sa sports sa mga susunod na buwan.

Ang liham ng national sports association prexy sa Chief Executive:.

“Today, I heard two young, vibrant, and patriotic national athletes on TV appealing for donations to strengthen our never ending struggle against this catastrophic pandemic. Our SEAG Games champions, aside from our entertainers and actresses, have also been doing their share to make life easier for our marginalized sectors and frontliners. This is why I have decided to make a stand today. A stand for justice and the truth.

Mr. President, July 26,2018, Manila Times on front page, featured an article requesting, while informing you to review the billions unremitted by PAGCOR to the Philippine Sports Commission. That week, COA officially announced that P1.6B just for 2017 alone was not turned over by PAGCOR. As per the law, under R.A. 5847, 5% gross income annually of PAGCOR should be given to the PSC for our athletes and our neglected national and grass roots program. As per records, PAGCOR has remitted to PSC only half of 5% for the last twenty five years. And since I was appointed PSC Commissioner for six years in 1994 by President Ramos, until I became Congressman in 2001 for nine years till 2010, up to the present, I have been fighting for the restoration of this fund, rightfully and accurately remitted by the admin of the late President Corazon Aquino, when PSC became a law in 1990.

But now, since COA established the fact that PAGCOR, circumventing the law, did not remit P1.6B to PSC for 2017 alone, this simply means Pagcor has not remitted P5.5B to PSC since the time you became President in 2016 up to the present. A total of three years and a half. If you can recall, I personally brought this matter up to you inside Malacanang during the send-off rites two years ago for the athletes to the Asian Games in Indonesia when the story broke out and handed you all the pertinent papers, including the official COA report and you appeared surprised and promised me you’ll seriously take a good look at it. For the sake of our athletes. I’m not really sure if you knew what was happening then. Never heard from you since then. What made it worse is because your PAGCOR Chairman Andrea Domingo seems to evade my questions then up till last year. Formerly a friend when I was still in Congress, I confronted her then inside Malacanang too and she discouraged me to continue these queries, even claiming that some of these funds were also needed for bonuses to be given to PAGCOR employees. Wow. That really pissed me off and PSC Chairman Butch Ramirez, gentleman that he is, was forced to move from his seat in between Andrea and me arguing this issue at hand. Couldn’t believe my ears.

Mr. President, by law, these funds belong to the athletes. But now because of this plague, you have been looking for funds. And we are talking of more than P5B here.Billions Mr President. If you claim now that you do not know where you shall get the funds, here’s one of them. And there’s more to come from PAGCOR. You see, this started temporarily during the mid term of President Ramos, with the noblest of intentions, however, this PAGCOR malpractice continued during the terms of President Erap, GMA, and Aquino. Your question is as good as mine. PAGCOR seems to enjoy and defend this arrangement. Without these funds, I’ll fearlessly make a forecast now that we shall end up not higher than fourth place in the next SEA Games in Vietnam. Mark my words. But be that as it may, you shall be the only President who can determine and tell the public now whether these funds have been used by PAGCOR illegally all these years, against the law, for their convenience or given for the discretionary funds of Malacanang. If you find it now, this will be our God-given donation to your administration coming from all the athletes, coaches, and national sports associations. We don’t have to go around anymore knocking door to door. Because we know our beleaguered people need this now more than ever to survive than joining the next SEAG. We shall manage as we have all these years this fund was not fairly given to us.

I know I am risking my neck here but I’m in my twilight zone now like you and our people have to know the truth now, after serving our beloved country for six years in PSC, 10 years in Congress, and as former Mayor of Bacolod. And because our troubled nation needs all these funds now more than ever to save our people’s lives. Pity our frontliners. I am even willing to speak in the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee if necessary. When this subsides, paging my friend from the other school, Sen. Dick Gordon. Who knows maybe there are some more funds out there lying in the dark. Untapped and has not even reached your presidential ears. If you are asking for help, for funds, here’s one of them, for your perusal. Billions from PAGCOR. Forget your other plans for now. Let us save our people first. My friends Salvador Medialdea, Sec. Carlos Dominguez, Sen. Bong Go, please take this up with the President cause we all know how busy you all are now confronting the forthcoming debacle of our economy in the next one year or more.Thank you. And by the way, Mr President, this message comes from a former friend who campaigned for you as Mayor of Bacolod in the last 2016 election you won. But I guess we all have short memories now. God bless you and the Pilipino people.” (Lito Oredo)