Former sports chairman Butch Ramirez to file COC

Former Philippine Sports Commission chairman William “Butch” Ramirez will formally throw his hat in politics on Tuesday, November 24, to make a bid for one of District 1’s eight slots to the City Council.The 59-year old Ramirez, whose 10-year tenure in the country’s sports agency is the longest and one of the most successful ever, will file his certificate of candidacy at around 3:00 p.m. after several stops at different Catholic churches around the city.

The long road to the Comelec will begin at around 8:00 a.m. at the Sports for Peace Mindanao office at GSIS Heights. A mass will follow at the St. Francis Xavier Seminary before the entourage heads to church visits at Maa, Talomo, Fatima, St. Jude, and finally at the San Pedro Cathedral where Ramirez will meet Bishop George Rimando.

Ramirez, who will be running under the council slate of Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, will be joined in his entourage by his wife Mercy, Sports For Peace board of director Atty. Ruben Abarquez and supporters from the religious, sports and academe.

“This is it. I have made the decision to enter politics and serve the people of Davao more intimately as member of the council. I bring with me my wealth of experience in the academe and in sports administration,” Ramirez said.

The former Ateneo de Davao sports director will join seven others who will be picked by Mayor Duterte in the first district slate. Ramirez served as the Mayor’s sports consultant before accepting the post as PSC Commissioner and later became the agency’s first chairman from Mindanao.

Ramirez recently finished the International Olympic Committee sports leadership course in the United States. As PSC chairman, he was responsible for fostering ties with the China, Cuba and the Northern Territory Institute of Sports in Darwin, Australia, improving the athlete’s dorm facilities and increase in allowances, and the revival of the Philippine Institute of Sports. It was during his tenure that the Philippines captured the overall title in the 2005 Southeast Asian Games in Manila.

He has a master’s degree in Public Administration from the Ateneo de Davao University and is currently pursuing his Doctorate degree.

Ramirez’s decision to make a run for the council was welcomed by the sports community here with much anticipation.

Councilor Peter Lavina, who is also the President of the Davao City Sports Council, said “he is qualified and he has proven himself as a dedicated sports leader and educator. He can contribute a lot to the City Council.”

Christopher “Bong” Go, executive assistant to the Mayor, in a text message also says Butch “will be an asset to the City Council.”

Meantime, sports coordinators of two of the city’s biggest schools—Joaquin Sarabia of the University of Mindanao and Cholo Elegino of Ateneo de Davao University—will be joining today’s caravan. (NJB-DSA)

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