Foreboding The Return of Peping Cojuanco at the Helm of the Philippine Olympic Committee
As a sport that only Filipinos from very rich families can play, you would think Philippine equestrian sports would be insulated from feudal trapo politics and be able to focus on developing the best athletes it can.
Unfortunately, like other sports and organizations built around a sport, it is pretty much riddled with corruption.
Noynoy Aquino’s uncle Peping Cojuanco, a man who some say knows nothing about equestrian sports, has been re-elected as President of the Equestrian Association of the Philippines (EAP) with daughter Mikee as Vice President.
Kamaganak Inc in Philippine sports? It looks very much like it as we gather that sisters Janine Felix and Nikki Aboitiz were also elected to the board.
Moreover, Mikee is the IOC representative to the Philippines. Should she not be above the fray? Isn’t she compromising the impartiality of the IOC in a matter that may eventually elevated to a body where she sits?
But what did the father-daughter tandem Peping and Mikee do to deserve their positions at the EAP? Apparently, not much.
According to a former sports reporter friend of mine, Peping and daughter Mikee were such lazy douche bags that the association that they blamed La Nina for not leading the EAP to mount a single competition in 2017.
Moreover the EAP didn’t have a local training and competition program and managed to completely avoid having regular consultations with stakeholders.
He pointed out that our country’s performance at the SEA Games slipped so far down during Peping’s watch at the EAP that people were wondering what the EAP was doing. In 2005, we ranked first. Then in the following years under Peping, our country’s performance in equestrian sports fell consistently to the lowest ranks. In 2007 we were 6th place; in 2009 we were 5th; in 2011, 6th place; 2013, 7th place; 2015, 6th place; and in 2017, we stayed on at 6th place.
But what do you expect from someone who doesn’t even know who his athletes are in the EAP?
At the SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur, Peping didn’t even know that Colin Syquia was representing the country. He was overheard telling the POC functionaries with him, “Hindi atin ito.” (Upon learning about this, my reporter friend asked himself, “Was that senile dementia creeping in?”)
As for me, I’d credit it to a complete lack of interest in the sport. To begin with, it is said that Peping missed all the other days of the SEA Games despite being in Kuala Lumpur and had to be dragged to watch the last day of the event.
But if Peping is so completely uninterested in equestrian sports, why did he have himself elected as the President of the EAP?