Philippine Sports Commission chairman Butch Ramirez had a sudden change of heart 24 hours after declining the position of Team Pilipinas’ chef de mission for the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.
“I humbly accept the Chef de Mission post for Team Philippines’ 2019 Southeast Asian Games participation,” Ramirez’s statement read.
It was because of a phone call he received from none other than the Office of the President of the Republic of the Philippines last night.
Tuesday morning, Ramirez politely declined the position, saying that, “After some introspection, and to finally put to rest all speculations, I now issue this statement to humbly and officially decline the offer.”
However, his superiors in Malacañang continually monitor the sports landscape of the country, which Ramirez said was in “shambles”.
“Last night, I was given firm instruction which I shall carry out,” his statement furthered, “knowing without any doubt that national interest is the primary concern of government, and should be of all.”
After careful thought, Ramirez knows that accepting this tough position will be for the betterment of Philippine Sports as a whole. And he is willing to make the sacrifice for the sake of the country.
“If by accepting, we can start considering peace as an option towards a successful hosting of the SEAG, then I accept.”
The Philippines is hosting the continental meet for the first time in 14 years later this year.
Upon knowing that Ramirez accepted the position, Philippine Olympic Committee chairman Ricky Vargas expressed his utmost gratitude to President Rodrigo Duterte and Ramirez.
“I express my sincere appreciation to President Rodrigo R. Duterte for coming to the side of the athletes in their quest for glory,” Vargas’ statement read.
“The President has shown that he will always put the welfare of the athletes above all else.”
“I thank PSC Chairman William Ramirez for his personal sacrifice in coming to a different decision reconsidering his appointment,” his statement read.