Former POC, athletics chief passes away
- Abac Cordero () - February 15, 2002 - 12:00am
Former Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president and Surigao del Norte Gov. Jose C. Sering succumbed to heart attack yesterday morning, leaving behind a grieving family and a distinguished, glorious career both as a sportsman and politician during the last four decades. He was 76.

News of Gov. Sering’s death shocked sports officials and employees at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex, where he was well loved and spent so much of time as head of the Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association (1969 to 1991), acting director of Project: Gintong Alay (1984) and president of the POC (1985 to 1992).

Gov. Sering, who was born in Surigao and uncle of PBA superstar Zandro "Jun" Limpot, founded the Asian Amateur Athletic Association (4As) in 1973 and was the PATAFA chairman at the time of his death. He was governor of Surigao del Norte from 1965 to 1980.

He was survived by his wife Socorro Limpot and nine children.

According to his daughter-in-law Ning-Ning, Gov. Sering had just finished breakfast at around 8 a.m. and was reading the newspapers when he suddenly collapsed and banged his head on the floor of his BF Homes residence. He was immediately brought to the Alabang Medical Center where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

"He was reading the newspapers when the housemaid heard a loud thud. And when she checked it out, she saw Papa already lying on the floor beside his wheelchair," said Ning-Ning, married to Gov. Sering’s eldest child Nicanor, a former Makati fiscal now in private practice.

"I will always remember Papa as madaldal (talkative), very lively and someone with a good sense of humor," added Ning-Ning during a radio interview. "He had a quadruple bypass 10 years ago and probably this simply took their toll on him."

"It was a very untimely death because it came on Valentine’s Day - a day of hearts and flowers," said incumbent POC chief Celso Dayrit of the current PATAFA chairman. "He was loved by many. He was a true statesman. He knew what the Olympic movement was all about and he tried to preserve that all throughout his career. I respect him for that."

Dayrit, who served as POC treasurer and later on second vice president under the leadership of Gov. Sering, credited the proud son of Surigao del Norte for the development of RP sports in the ’80’s. "At that time the POC was struggling. We had no money but Gov. Sering’s term was marked by a lot of developments in sports."

Gov. Sering’s remains will lie in state at the Holy Trinity Memorial Chapel along Sucat Road in Parañaque only until today before they are brought to Surigao del Norte tomorrow morning. Interment will be announced later.

Gov. Sering was the second former POC president to pass away recently, the first being Col. Nereo Andolong who died of illness last December.

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