IOC supports the Philippine Olympic Committee
The Philippine volleyball federation is among the national federations expelled by the POC. Photo: Jomar Galvaz/Flickr
03.11.2017By Lars Andersson
Philippine sports have been racked by allegations of corruption, kickbacks and favoritism, and haunted by lawsuits and politics for years, if not forever. But in September 2017, a group of sports leaders and athletes got sick and tired of the situation and tried to oust the president of the Philippine Olympic Committee, Jose ‘Peping’ Cojuangco Jr. - without luck (see Philippine Olympic president to face public rally and It’s all about money, power and politics, ed.).
Despite several and severe fraud allegations against the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), especially Jose ‘Peping’ Cojuangco Jr., and exclusions of several critical sports federations from the POC in violation of the committee’s own statutes, the Olympic Charter and the IOC Code of Ethics, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) still has full confidence in the POC and its president Jose ‘Peping’ Cojuangco Jr.
In a message to Play the Game, IOC writes:
“Let’s be clear: the IOC takes any fraud allegations very seriously. We have reached out to the NOC (POC) to request a formal explanation on the situation and have received a full and detailed report from the NOC on all these allegations, which confirms that the IOC has no reason to be involved at this stage,” Emmanuelle Moreau from the IOC Media Relations Team says in an email.
“We reiterate that we respect the jurisdiction of each organisation of the Olympic Movement to address any internal issue responsibly in accordance with the Olympic Charter, their own statutes/constitution and the applicable laws and procedures in the country. Should there be any concrete evidence, which would require the IOC to be involved, we would of course look into it. Once again, we invite you to contact directly the NOC for any further information.”
However, Play the Game has twice asked for the above mentioned ‘full and detailed report’ to be handed over without receiving any answer. And despite personal attendance at the POC headquarter and attempt by phone and email, Play the Game has never been able to get in contact with Mr. Jose ‘Peping’ Cojuangco Jr. or the POC.
The many exclusions of Philippine sports federations by the POC, among them the Philippine Volleyball Federation, is not regarded a matter for IOC either, even though the expulsions are a violation of POC’s own rules and IOC’s rules.
“The specific issue of the volleyball federation is being dealt with by the FIVB in accordance with the FIVB Constitution and General Regulations, and in coordination with all concerned parties, as usual in these circumstances,” the IOC Media Relations Team says and continues:
“The IOC respects the jurisdiction and responsibilities of both the International Federations and the NOCs in dealing with any specific issues in relation to the national federations, in accordance with the Olympic Charter and the structure and organisation of the Olympic Movement. Consequently, we would refer you to the FIVB and/or to the Philippine Olympic Committee, duly recognised by the IOC, for any further questions in relation to this specific matter.”
In the meantime, the Philippine state’s Commission of Audit (the state department tasked with the audit of all government revenues, resources and other expenditures, ed.) investigates severe allegations about fraud and corruption in the business relations between the Philippine state’s sports department, The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), and the private organisation POC in the period 2010-2016.