Puentevella denies claims, says people want him out
By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Asian Games gold medal-winning weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, who also earned a silver medal at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, recently penned a letter to the Philippine Sports Commission expressing her dismay with the current leadership of the Philippine Weightlifting Association, sometimes referred to as Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas, which is currently led by former Bacolod City Mayor Monico Puentevella.
She said, under Puentevella, the sport has not seen any expansion, there is a lack of strategic planning, athletes have not been provided with long-term programs, and the association lost its integrity.
Diaz added, she hopes the former Bacolod City lone district congressman resigns from the post and suggested holding elections to find a replacement.
In a follow-up radio interview yesterday morning, Puentevella said he is saddened by the accusations and believes she was encouraged to take such actions by “several people from Cebu.” He said the people behind the champion weightlifter want to replace him as association president.
The former mayor said one of the individuals is a “fugitive” from Dubai.
He went on to reject Diaz’s claims, asserting, if there was no program, how was she able to compete in the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games, along with the recent Asian Games in Indonesia?
Puentevella added, he initially earned the presidency via election in 2016, with the next polls scheduled for 2020./DGB, WDJ