THE Philippine Sports Commission Grievance and Mediation Committee buckled down to work last Wednesday, assigning cases to its three-man panel in a bid to settle disputes and grievances involving athletes, coaches and National Sports Associations.
“We began meeting with the athletes, NSAs and coaches involved in these cases and began assigning them to the members of our panel,” said PSC legal consultant Ramsey Quijano of the group led by PSC executive director Atty. Carlo Abarquez and which also includes Atty. Franklin Badilla.
“It was our initial formal organizational committee meeting,” Quijano said. “When we went over the cases filed to the PSC before we were formed, they were about 12 to 14 of various types.”
Commissioner Ramon Fernandez will oversee the committee, he added.
Among the cases that were submitted were grievances submitted by athletes who were removed from the national pool, issues of unliquidated funds and intramurals within NSAs, according to Quijano.
Quijano said that among the basic guidelines the panel instituted was for the parties involved, whether as a group or individual, to submit their petitions under oath, while respondents were required to submit their formal reply to the committee within 15 days of receiving the formal complaints.
“Complaints should be submitted under oath, not necessarily in affidavit form; it could be a letter. The complainants will have to reply within 15 days to the complaint before we begin the grievance and mediation procedure,” he explained.
Quijano said the complaints needed to be done under oath, “because this will serve as a protection for both parties because they might change their statements,” adding that he and Badilla would be the hearing officers assigned by Abarquez.
“I will essentially handle cases from Visayas and Mindanao while Abadilla will tackle cases from Luzon. We will then submit our findings and recommendations to the PSC board for action,” said the Cebu-based lawyer. “This will make it easier for the board to act because we have provided them with the facts like summaries and testimonies of the athletes.”