BY SUSAN PAPA ON
JANUARY 8, 2018
The Philippine Swimming League (PSL) filed a complaint last year against Mark Joseph, president of Philippine Swimming, Inc. (PSI) in connection with his questionable policies.
The government is also injured by fraudulent practices in sports. This malaise has not spared the country’s swimming development program. Millions of pesos have been drawn from government funds purportedly for the swimmers, only to be used for corrupt purposes. These funds are as much in need of protection as any other government money. To close our eyes to this prevailing situation is to condone fraud against the government treasury and to go against the interests of young swimmers in particular and the Filipino people in general.
Mark Joseph’s ascent to the presidency of Philippine Swimming, Inc. (PSi) has been questioned and rightly so, because it is bereft of legal basis. But it matters little now that his assumption to the presidency of PSi is highly questionable. What is more important is that his abuses and dishonest practices must stop, permanently.
His leadership was marred by arbitrariness, oppressiveness and indiscretion: young swimmers were unjustly stripped of medals, accused of having fake Philippine passports; participating in international and community swimming competitions were stopped/prohibited and coaches seeking further education were threatened of suspension. It is plain to us that he is not fit for the position, which in the first place he illegally assumed. He neither had the gift of leadership nor possessed the influence and moral force, which could solidify the swimming association to better and faster achieve our national goals.
The culture of patronage and politics in Philippine sports must be destroyed and stopped.
These are the tragic consequences of politics and patronage, which destroy the professional competence and effectiveness of government agencies.
During the past administration, the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) has miserably failed to provide the leadership in the development of national sports particularly on grassroots participation.
Worse, it failed to function as an effective government regulatory agency.
Interference by the government in the affairs of a private entity is therefore justified as it involves protection of rights of individuals and the issues involved are tainted with national interest.
At the end of the day, under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, we expect the PSC to bring changes in Philippine sports. We are confident that President Duterte can put an end to this vicious cycle of corruption, patronage, politics and power play. It is the President’s commitment to the country to get rid of corrupt individuals receiving funding from the government.
The PSL is praying that the Philippine Sports Commission will sanction the Philippine Olympic Commission and PSi for mismanagement and corruption.