Category Archives: peace

Sports agenda for Mindanao

Clean Slate
Sports agenda for Mindanao
MONDAY, 02 AUGUST 2010 00:00
by Moses Billacura
The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) recently appointed William “Butch” Ramirez as their “go to” guy in Mindanao.
This is an advantage to Mindanao because the former Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman has established very good working relations with POC officials for years in the past.
While still with the PSC, Ramirez worked for the realization of the Mindanao Friendship Games, a sports for peace program, that was launched at the beautiful Mindanao Civic Center of former war-torn Tubod, Lanao del Norte in 2001 and established the Mindanao Children’s Games that benefitted children from conflict areas in Central Mindanao with the help of Fr. Romeo S. Saniel, OMI, president of the Notre Dame of Midsayap College and some unnamed concerned Mindanaoans.
But these noble programs, in the natural course of things in our country, were shelved when new people took over the sports agency.
Should members of the sports board not fight for continuation of those programs, then these events geared towards promotion of, and sustaining the work for peace in Mindanao through sports will become history.
Recent reports indicating that there is “peace” between the POC and PSC because of the recent appointment of chairman Ricardo Garcia of Bacolod to head the sports commission, we expect that they will take a second look at Mindanao again.
We are not saying that they should reactivate the sports for peace program in Mindanao, but should they decide to revive the programs, then Butch Ramirez would be more than willing to run things for them.
When chairman Harry Angping succeeded chairman Ramirez, PSC’s Mindanao satellite office operations ceased, local government heads who had felt that the national sports agency’s board of commissioners had showed concern for Mindanao were left out in the cold.
There is an existing organization in Davao City called Sports for Peace Mindanao Inc. and Radio Mindanao Network (RMN) currently runs the Race for Peace event for the second straight year.
The POC and PSC can easily come in and help in the pursuit of peace and development through sports.
But are they willing to include Mindanao in their sports agenda? That’s the proverbial $64 question begging for an inspiring answer.

Former PSC chairman Butch Ramirez files COC, Sen.Honasan accompanies long-time friend

Senator Gregorio Honasan accompanies long-time friend former Philippine Sports Commission chairman William "Butch" Ramirez (right) who filed his certificate of candidacy for Davao City Councilor, Thursday, in Davao City.
Former Philippine Sports Commission chairman William "Butch" Ramirez (right) shows his certificate of candidacy he filed for Davao City Councilor at the COMELEC-Davao Office, Thursday, in Davao City. Accompanying him is his wife Mercy, who celebrated their 36th wedding anniversary, and long-time friend Senator Gregorio Honasan.
Former Philippine Sports Commission chairman William "Butch" Ramirez calls for unity through sports after filing his candidacy for Davao City Councilor, Thursday, at the COMELEC-Davao. Accompanying him is long-time friend Senator Gregorio Honasan (right).

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)

IOC lauds Ramirez, Sports for Peace program set

Even after serving the Philippine Sports Commission, William “Butch” Ramirez has drawn praises from the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

IOC member Francisco J. Elizalde said he is happy that Ramirez has continued his involvment in sports.

“We need people like you that are not only knowledgeable about international and local sports but also have taken the time to learn about the Olympic Movement itself is a reflection on the fact that you truly possess the Olympic Spirit,” said Elizalde.

Elizalde congratulated Ramirez for a job well done during his mandate as chairman of the PSC for not only raising the level of the national athletes performance in many sports and for setting up educational facility, the Philippine Sports Institute.

“My admiration also goes out to you for having done your work in a humble and cooperative mangger in spite of many personal conflicts with Government entities, recalcitrant NSAs and even the POC which were usually resolved in an amicable and fair manner,” said Elizalde.

Ramirez, former PSC chairman, is busy with the upcoming Archdiocese of Davao-Sports for Peace event in celebration of the diamond jubilee of the Archiocese next month.

Ramirez will discuss various topics like physical education and sports to children who will be contributors to nation building, scientific basketball teaching skills program, anatomy of the human body, significance of physical education and sports to children and adults, among others.

Kids get balls, shoes as sports clinics begin

Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Chairman William “Butch” Ramirez distributes new pair of shoes to each of the children participants during the second day of  the Sports for Peace program Saturday at the Notre Dame of Midsayap College in Midsayap, North Cotabato. DSA PHOTO

MIDSAYAP, North Cotabato—Some 200 war-affected children participating in the historic Sports for Peace program started getting the basics of four team events as the actual sports clinics got underway Saturday at the Notre Dame of Midsayap College (NDMC) here.

The children, coming from the different conflict areas of Central Mindanao, were also excited to get their new pair of shoes and shirts from Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Chairman William “Butch” Ramirez.

The PSC chief initially led the clinic on basketball at the NDMC Gym and took the entire morning giving tips on the basics like dribbling, passing and shooting.

Those who are entered in softball, baseball and volleyball also had their initial sessions under coaches from Davao City. The first day of the event last Oct. 17 was devoted entirely on counseling sessions under the guidance of Karen Trinidad of the Philippine Center for Sports Medicine or PCSM.

So far, the children are having the time of their lives with the attention given them, a complete contrast of their situations just months before when they have to constantly flee their homes because of the skirmishes between government forces and members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

“There’s no more religion here,” said NDMC president Romeo Saniel, adding that gathering the Christian and Muslim children under one roof and seeing them interact with each other is a victory of sorts for peace-loving citizens.

“This is a welcome development. It’s a good thing they are here, otherwise they will participate in arm struggle which is very bad,” Fr. Saniel told a handful of journalists covering the program which ends on Oct. 20.

Saniel noted that some of the participants are actually sons and daughters of active fighters. He refused to elaborate.

Daks Yambao, a volleyball coach from Davao, said he considers himself fortunate to join Ramirez in this worthy endeavor.

“I’m very lucky to be one of the select few,” said Yambao of the Philippine Volleyball Federation (PVF).Mario Mojica, president of the Davao Volleyball Association (DAVA) said: “This is historic, a one of a kind event.(DSA)

Sports for Peace clinic in Midsayap

The Sports for Peace clinic starts on Saturday after the opening ceremony and counseling on Friday at the Notre Dame College of Midsayap.

PSC chairman William “Butch” Ramirez personally handled the event in order to ensure the smooth conduct of the event with the help of the Notre Dame priests, Ulamas and Lumad leaders.

A total of 500 internally-displaced children and families took part in the activity designed to help those affected by the trauma of war in Central Mindanao.

War-affected children gather for sports clinic, counseling

MIDSAYAP, North Cotabato—Some 500 internally displaced children from the war-torn areas in Cotabato and Maguindanao provinces will converge at the Notre Dame of Midsayap College (NDMC) on Friday, October 17, to attend sports clinics and undergo counseling in an effort to heal them from the effects of war.

Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Chairman William “Butch” Ramirez said the series of activities among children–Muslims, Christians and Lumads alike—is part of the Sports for Peace program which he conceived to promote peace in a region ravaged by arm conflict.

“We inherited this Earth not  from our ancestors, but from our children,” Ramirez said as he emphasized the need to gather the children affected by war and to make them feel comfortable while interacting with each other in the four days that they are together. The program will be staged from Oct. 17 to 20 at the NDMC.

Ramirez said NDMC under its president Fr. Romeo Saniel will play an important role throughout the activity as it is the school which will fetch the children from the different areas like Aleosan, Kabuntalan, Midsayap, Libungan and Pikit.

Ramirez brought with him coaches to conduct the clinic and a psychologist from the Philippine Center for Sports and Medicine, Karen Trinidad, who will be leading the counseling.

The clinics will be anchored on basketball, softball, volleyball and football, according to Ramirez, who is the project director and training head.

The opening ceremonies for the Sports for Peace will be held starting at 8:00 a.m. on Friday at the NDMC Gym. The coaches’ clinic with respective lecturers will then follow. The guidance counseling and psychological sessions will be held in the evening.(DSA)