BY SUSAN PAPA ON
JANUARY 22, 2018
Here is the final part of the open letter I received from a noble woman—Sen. Nikki Coseteng.
“I saw how hurt you were every time the Philippine Swimming Inc. (PSi) of Mark Joseph and his cabal of thick-faced coaches well entrenched in schools and colleges and universities would shamelessly bully our swimmers whenever we would send them to compete abroad. I saw how desperate you were trying to secure appointments to meet with school heads to no avail and instead you would be relegated to meet with their coaches or athletic directors or coaches who precisely were the ones in the first place causing misery and stress to the swimmers.
“I saw how people tried to destroy you behind your back only because you know all the issues against them by heart and supported by hard evidence and facts, and the only way they could wangle their way through and dodge jail was to destroy you.
“Susan, I must admit. I have perhaps not lived up to expectations, not provided all that was expected of me. I have extremely limited resources and perhaps I have abused the kindness of my friends and exhausted resources within my reach. I have perhaps not done enough. I sit in bed awake so afraid of what might come in the future when the etc. wave if sports officials will be just the same as those who served before them. I am horrified at the thought that all the sacrifices and struggles will just have gone for naught. I hate to think of the kids today having to deal with monsters of the same mold, the same psyche, the same insecurities, the same greed and the same indifference and selfishness.
“I write these thoughts to you because these are the thoughts that I have not let loose, thinking that one day I’d like to see these thoughts buried forever as the nightmare would be over, never again to rear fangs, claws and a filthy ugly head. I’m thinking all this masquerading and pretending to be saviors of athletes and sports would one day end. I’m thinking that those who pay to suppress information and those who receive to suppress information would one day be buried six feet underground as I find myself pulverized in an urn! I’m thinking that one day, my grandsons now taking teakwood and playing soccer will not be subjected to the same humiliation, and bullying that our young athletes in the University of the Philippines (UP), National University (NU), University of the East and elsewhere are subjected to. I remember several years ago, I asked that we train swimmers for NU as we have also trained swimmers who found their way into UP and other colleges and universities, and I am in tears now as I find out that after getting them into NU, they would just be bullied and treated like dirt!
“Their coach and manager, whoever they are, have committed a grave crime. I don’t know if their university president and owners know about this Susan, it’s not all about money. I do not know who the coach is. I do not know who the manager is. Whoever they are, I hope we can find enough self-respecting citizens to help us with the legal fees as I don’t think we should sit and do nothing after this kind of sickening and unforgivable acts are committed against swimmers we painstakingly trained.
“I called my friend Sergio Yu when I received that letter in Cagayan de Oro from Mr. Pupos. I have not called Mr. Yu since then.
“Susan, life is short and I do not want to make more enemies in the struggle for justice and democratization of sports in the Philippines, but do we just do nothing and let the vampires prevail?
“I’ve been texting for two hours. I’ve not slept and I’m tired, I’m sick, I’m drained, I don’t know how to let the world know. Nobody knows swimming the way you do. Nobody!
“Not even the champions who are part of the whole cover up!! Not even the team owners and school administrators. Not even the parents. Not even self-proclaimed sports enthusiasts. Nobody knows swimming the way you do?
“Why do you think they hate you? Why do you think they want to silence you? Why do you think they want to destroy you, when they couldn’t do one-hundredth of what you have done! All they do is destroy what you have built? I am a witness to all this! Seven years is seven years! You could not have pretended to know and in truth not know! You could not have pretended to do things and not do them! You could not have pretended to produce champions and faked them. You could not have pretended to be what you have been.”