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Sports

POC chief not buying PSC claims

Olmin Leyba - The Philippine Star
POC chief not buying PSC claims
Abraham Tolentino.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine Olympic Committee president Abraham Tolentino isn’t buying the Philippine Sports Commission’s claims that it had nothing to do with the “distractive” demand letter it received from the Commission on Audit during the Hangzhou Asian Games.

Tolentino shared an Affidavit of Undertaking sent to the POC weeks before the recent Asiad, which was needed for the release of the funding for the Hangzhou campaign. One of its provisions was for the Olympic body to liquidate P13.2 million, including P10 million for the financial assistance for the 1998 Asian Games.

Then on Sept. 20, Tolentino said the POC received a communication from the COA demanding it to account “in five days” for the said unliquidated funding.

This series of events, according to Tolentino, debunked the assertion of PSC chairman Richard Bachmann that the COA acted without the knowledge of the government sports body in issuing the controversial letter.

“It’s very clear in that affidavit that indeed, the PSC knew it all along,” Tolentino said in a press statement yesterday.

The Tagaytay City mayor had earlier branded the demand letter as  “malicious and distractive” and rued its timing as Team Philippines was about to embark on the Hangzhou campaign.

Bachmann, however, had maintained there was no malice or intent to distract the Hangzhou campaign or as Tolentino claimed, “drive a wedge” and “stab his back” with the COA communication.

He also expressed willingness to sit down with the POC leadership and COA to find a solution on the liquidation issue from the 1998 Asiad as well as other cases of unliquidated assistance from way back.

Aside from the P10 million from the 1998 Asiad, the POC was told to liquidate assistance for the Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam amounting to P2.6 million for  payment of expenses for additional delegates and P663,000 purchase of the swimming team’s equipment and uniforms.

“Those (P2.6 million and P663,000) we will liquidate, the documents are being completed,” Tolentino said. “But not the P10 million.”              

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