Saturday, January 31, 2009

Ex-PSC chief to enter politics

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/25 January) -- Former Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chair William “Butch” Ramirez last week declared his intention to enter politics and said it “depends on Mayor Rodrigo Duterte as to what position”.

“Rody (Duterte) is the barometer. It depends to the mayor as to what position (I will aspire for),“ Ramirez said three days after President Arroyo accepted his resignation as chair of the national sports agency

In a press conference Saturday, Ramirez, 58, who served for ten years in the PSC, said he will not run without the blessing of Duterte, his former boss

The former Ateneo de Davao University professor said “religious groups and some individuals” are pushing him to run for the congressional seat in the city's first district occupied by House Speaker Prospero Nograles. Nograles ran for mayor but lost to Duterte in the 1990s.

Like Duterte, Nograles is also serving his last term.

Duterte appointed Ramirez as city sports coordinator several years back. A few days following his appointment, the mayor sent him to Australia as the city's head of delegation to the 2001 Arafura Games in Darwin that enabled Ramirez to see the “world of sports.”

Ramirez said the mayor has a well-established political machinery “and more to that, the mayor has a good heart for the poor, he is a good politician and a good lawyer”.

“I don't have any association with other politicians. It's only with the mayor, that's why my entry to politics lies in him. It's up to him what position (I will aspire for).

Ramirez submitted his resignation following the country's dismal performance in the Beijing Olympics last August.

Ramirez had been very vocal about his intention to help the sports program of Davao City the moment he would leave PSC where he served as regional representative in 1998 before he was appointed as commissioner in 2000 and its chair in 2005. (Rico Biliran/MindaNews)

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