BATANGAS 1st District Rep. Eric Buhain welcomed the decision of FINA (world governing body for swimming) of stripping the Philippine Swimming Inc. of recognition.
Buhain, a first-time congressman and Vice Chairman of the Youth and Sports Development Committee in the House of Representatives, was sought for his reaction on the FINA’s (Federation Internationale de Natation) withdrawal of its recognition of the members of the Philippine Swimming Inc. board, headed by Lani Velasco while establishing a Stabilization Committee to run the PSI’s day-to-day operations.
“I wholeheartedly welcome the FINA action on this matter and my over-enthusiasm should be forgiven as I still see myself as a Filipino athlete who competes foremost for God and our country,” said Buhain, who won a total of 15 gold medals for the Philippines in the Southeast Asian Games, including an unparalleled dominance in five events — 100-meter breaststroke, 100-meter butterfly, 200-meter butterfly, 200-meter individual medley, and the 400-meter individual medley — in the 1991 edition.
The FINA directive dated December 3 was signed by the international federation’s executive director Brent Nowicki and communicated via email to Velasco, with the Philippine Olympic Committee and the Philippine Sports Commission furnished with emailed copies. The FINA directive is effective immediately.
“My hopes are very much afloat and I thanked the Philippine Olympic Committee and the Philippine Sports Commission in supporting this FINA initiative to save swimming, the sport that is very much dear to me,” added Buhain, who co-founded the Congress of Philippine Aquatics. Inc., with Olympians Pinky Brosas, Chito Rivera, Richard Luna and Darren Evangelista and Joel Esquivel.
POC legal head Atty. Wharton Chan and deputy secretary general Valeriano “Bones” Floro and Bases Conversion Development Authority senior vice president Arrey Perez were named members of the Stabilization Committee.