Messy has been the final stretch of the 2020 Philippine Olympic Committee Elections.
Jabs have been thrown left and right as the candidates try to get the trust of the 54 voters that will elect the next leader of Philippine sports for the next four years.
But out of the 20 candidates running for a post, one shone the brightest. And it’s none other than Muay Thai’s Pearl Managuelod, who is running for board membership.
Managuelod is on Rep. Bambol Tolentino’s ticket on paper. But in essence, she is an independent candidate.
The Muaythai Association’s secretary-general has been the fresh air needed by not just both parties but also Philippine sports in general.
“You know I think we should all be advocates of peace — not just me.
“Both groups have their own strengths and I support their programs and agendas personally I believe in some of what they’re advocating for. And I really think we all have something to contribute and bring to the table so there’s really no need for this bi-partisanship. It’s all a matter of unifying and really just putting the athletes’ needs as front and center of the POC so there’s no need for this me as the bridge because we should all be working towards one goal,” she said during The Hit List, downplaying her huge role during the elections.
Prior to declaring her intention to run for a POC post, Pearl consulted with her dad, Ret. Gen. Lucas, who has already seen both the bright and dark side of sports politics.
And if there’s one thing Gen. Lucas told Pearl that struck her right, it’s to never compromise her values.
“It was my dad who I first talked to and my parents has always been supportive naman of whatever endeavor that I got myself into,” she bared.
“Pero ang advice lang talaga ng dad ko sa akin is to never compromise my values and principles. He said na hindi mo mahihiwalay ang politics sa sports so I should really prepare myself for that but then I should always do what is best for the majority so I should not be afraid to speak out, be the voice of dissent if I need to do.”
At the end of the day, Pearl hopes that the focus shifts away from the sports leaders. It’s the athletes who should shine the brightest for Philippine sports.