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'Persona Non grata'

First Posted 08:12:00 12/08/2009

The City Council of Danao yesterday approved another resolution declaring an official of the Aquatic Sports Association of the Philippines (Asap) and a swimming coach from Manila ?Persona Non Grata? in connection with the ordeal that Cebuano tankers experienced in a meet in Taiwan last month.

Last week, the Danao City Council also approved a resolution asking five government agencies to conduct an investigation into the incident, wherein Susan Papa of Asap was accused of allegedly discriminating and treating the Cebuano tankers and their parents badly as well as demanding for unexplained additional fees.

Dennis Cordero, a swimming coach from Manila, came to the defense of Papa and called the Cebuano parents ?freeloaders? in another paper.

Lawyer Jorge John T. Cane, one of the parents who went to Taiwan and also a Danao City councilor, said the real freeloaders were the three children of Cordero and members of the media whom they brought with them to Taiwan to cover the event.

The resolution stated that Papa and Cordero's explanation of the incident published in a national paper, did not address the issues raised by the previous resolution, which asked for an investigation.

Cane said that they were made to understand that the P15,000 that was asked of each athlete included accommodation and common cost. They were also informed that accommodation would be two persons, meaning the athlete and parent, per room.

Although the accommodation fee differed as evidenced by the communications exchanged per athlete, the common cost was pegged at P1,500 for all. Cane said this is why they refused to pay the P6,000 that Papa demanded from them. They were told to immediately pay in Taiwan otherwise their children will not be made to compete because Papa justified the amount as the common cost.

According to Cane, it was also a mistake that they were made to sign the note which stated that they had opted to stay in another hotel, because they were not really given the room accommodation that was promised to them unless they pay an additional fee.

Cane also said that the additional fees that Papa asked from each of the athletes varied.?They asked the athletes coming from Bohol to pay an addition of P7,500 while from Cebuanos they asked an addition of P6,000 plus 1,400 Taiwan dollars,? Cane said.

Despite the additional fee, the promised two persons per room was not followed as seven persons were made to stay in one room.

Cane also said that the Visayas Integrated Schools Swimming Association (VISSA), an affiliate of Asap, demanded for an apology from Papa for the harsh statements that came out in a national paper.

Aside from the apology, Jess Arriola, VISSA Secretary, said the organization asked for an investigation to be conducted and the ouster of Papa from Asap.

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