by EMIL C. NOGUERA, REPORTER
It’s final. The Federation of School Sports Association of the Philippines (FESSAP) is the recognized group from the Philippines by the International University Sports Federation (FISU).
The FISU decision was made by the FISU Executive Committee during the general assembly on December 8 to 9 in Trento, Italy. The FISU letter declaring FESSAP as the official member was sent to FESSAP Secretary-General Graham Lim.
“We would like to inform you that the FISU Executive Committee decided to confirm the membership of the Fessap as FISU Member Association. FISU therefore officially recognizes the Fessap as the sole representative of university sports in the Philippines,” stated FISU Secretary-General/Chief Executive Officer Eric Saintrond in the letter.
Fessap President David Ong and Philippine Swimming League (PSL) President Susan Papa expressed elation over the development.
However, Papa said the application for membership by the UAAP group was vehemently objected by Fessap handling lawyer and legal adviser Ma. Luz Arzaga-Mendoza during the FISU General Assembly.
Arzaga-Mendoza recalled saying: “while you [FISU] were gracious and benevolent in giving us your valuable time in meeting us, we were however surprised that without due process of law, and in total disregard of all tenets of justice and fair play, you have entertained the application of another group from the Philippines, in clear violation of FISU rule prescribing a “one-member policy.”
Arzaga-Mendoza also presented the Commission on Higher Education (CHED)endorsement to FISU. The endorsement was made by CHED Chairperson Patricia Licuanan.
“The victory of Fessap on its recognition as a sole representative of the Philippines to FISU is indeed a test that justice is truly served. The attempt to corrupt mind and leadership of FISU by Fessap’s opposition in the Philippines failed on vain,” stressedArzaga-Mendoza.
“The oppositions were to do backdoor manipulation to overthrow Fessap membership in FISU. But such manipulation was timely prevented after legal arguments via oral and written position papers were presented. The FISU officials were convinced of the evils and inappropriate actions of the oppositions, therefore must not prevail,” Arzaga-Mendoza said.
Ateneo’s representative to the UAAP Board Ricky Palou said: “We’re not informed yet. But if that’s that decision of FISU, we’ll respect it.”
The Fessap owns the right to select athletes who will represent the country in the prestigious World University Games otherwise known as World Universiade. The 2015 edition will be held in Gwangju, South Korea.