Bro Eddie keeps faith in Filipino athletes
- Abac Cordero () - March 27, 2010 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - His name doesn’t ring a bell when it comes to sports.

But if elected as the next President, religious leader Bro. Eddie Villanueva vowed to rationalize the government’s sports program and lay a new framework for success in the international arena.

“Sports should be one of my priorities,” the 63-year-old founder of the Jesus is Lord Church and self-confessed activist, but only during the dark Martial Law years, said yesterday during a visit to The STAR office.

Bro. Eddie faced some of the newspaper’s editors in an open discussion lasting almost three hours. He spoke like a true politician, than a pastor who commands a huge following.

If elected, Bro. Eddie said he’d enforce genuine programs and genuine reforms, narrow the gap between the rich and poor, strengthen the social and economic security of the small, and end smuggling in his first week in office.

Bro. Eddie said sports is a vital part in building a strong nation, and sounded alarmed why sports had to be taken out of the Department of Education.

“I will bring sports back in that department, and will see to it that the youth will go back playing basketball in the streets than doing drugs. Physical fitness, mental fitness, spiritual fitness and moral fitness are the vital ingredients here,” he said.

“They took sports out of the department and put it in the Philippine Sports Commission. I will create a Magna Carta on student athletes, a no-nonsense Magna Carta. This should rationalize our sports program for the youth,” he said.

Bro. Eddie also stressed the importance of a support mechanism for all athletes, both amateur and professional, that they are rewarded tax-free, and rewarded when they’re done competing in their respective disciplines.

“Part of the President’s social fund should be allocated to sports. This will stabilize the national program for sports. This should be in the minds of our sports leaders, and not their personal bickerings,” said Bro. Eddie.

He said while basketball remains as the country’s most favorite sports, those in charge of it have forgotten to help develop baseball or football, and added that once elected he will have to find the right persons to run sports in the country.

“We need patriotic people to run it,” said Bro. Eddie, adding that this could be the only way the country can win that elusive gold medal in the Olympics.

But he said it can be done.

“A gold in the Olympics? I have faith in the Filipino people. Given full support, I believe our athletes can attain that. And I’m very positive about this. I believe in the capacity, the ability, and the genius of the Filipino,” he added.

That’s true faith on the Filipino athlete. And Bro. Eddie has it.

BRO DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION EDDIE EDDIE VILLANUEVA LORD CHURCH MAGNA CARTA MARTIAL LAW PART OF THE PRESIDENT PHILIPPINE SPORTS COMMISSION SPORTS
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