PSI hits back at judge: Everyone aware of stakes.
The Philippine Swimming Inc. responded to the claims of a disgruntled father of a swimmer with a strongly worded letter of its own, pointing out that 'lack of knowledge and ignorance of the policies should not be used as an excuse.'
Lani Velasco, the president of PSI, in a six-page letter to General Santos City judge Francisco Cordero Jr., said that all parties who took part in the Philippine National Age-Group championship in Tagum in Davao del Norte were all made aware of what they were playing for.
'An unbiased and fair reading of the PSI's determination on the issue will reveal that there was a failure by Sayap Pirates, its coaches and swimmers (including Judge Cordero's son) to comply with PSI rules and regulations for selection into the Philippine team for the 42nd Southeast Asian Age-Group swimming championship,' wrote the PSI's legal counsel in a covering letter sent to the Inquirer.
Velasco's response to Cordero pointed out several deadlines for registration and recognition by the PSI for clubs and its swimmers to be eligible for Philippine Team inclusions.
Cordero had threatened to sue the PSI and its officers on May 15 after his son, Francisco III, wasn't included on the PH Team despite sterling performances in three events in the Tagum meet.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Olympic Committee, headed by president Ricky Vargas, exhorted both parties to amicably settle their differences.
'We just hope that this doesn't go to court anymore and that PSI and the parents can iron things out,' Vargas told the Inquirer over the phone Tuesday. 'It will be for the sake of the athletes and (the sport of) swimming itself.'
The letter also stated that the PSI has not been formally notified of any suspension by the POC and that 'it continues to operate as the duly recognized national sports association for swimming with the full support of the Federation Internationale de Natation.'
Vargas, though, confirmed the POC suspension.
The PSI said that all those who took part in the Tagum meet, for them to be included in the selection process for the national team, 'must be a registered member of PSI in good standing.'
PSI added that performances in the Tagum meet can be used to determine members of other Philippine teams.