Press Release
May 3, 2006


Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Nene Q. Pimentel, Jr. (PDP-Laban) today appealed to Malacañang and sports authorities to attend to the needs of senior and retired athletes by regularly releasing to them the monthly pension that they are entitled to under the law.

Pimentel made the appeal in response to the complaints of the athletes concerned that their cash incentive and other benefits have been left unattended to by the Philippine Sports Commission for two months now.

He was informed by former PSC Chairman Aparicio H. Mequi that high jump gold medalist in the 2nd Asian Games, Andres Franco, after suffering a second stroke, is now bed-ridden and dependent on adult diapers to maintain a modicum of personal hygiene. His monthly pension from the government is now the only means available to him to meet his basic needs.

Hall of Famer basketball player, Loreto Carbonell, has been without regular income for several years now and all his savings completely drained by the chemotherapy treatment of his wife who died a year ago. He is caring for his grand-daughter and depends solely on his monthly pension for this purpose.

We call on concerned officials of Malacañang and the PSC to take immediate steps to facilitate the release of the monthly pension of our retired ageing athletes, many of whom are afflicted with some ailment or disability. The government should not neglect its obligation of assisting these athletes who have brought honors and prestige to the country in international sports competitions specially during their period of needs, Pimentel said.

The following are the senior and retired athletes who are entitled to regularly receive monthly pension from the government:

Mona Sulaiman, track and field; Morena Morcilla, athletics; Eduardo Pacheco, football and basketball; Anthony Villanueva, boxing; Manfredo Alipala, boxing; Celedonio Espinosa, boxing; Patricia Engayo-De Leon, and Enrique Beech, shooting; Jacinto Cayco, Haydee Caloso-Espino, Amerhusin Hamsain, Daula Lakabani, swimming; and Haylil Said and Domingo Cuenco.

Pimentel learned from Mequi that Sulaiman needs regular maintenance medicine for her diabetes while Caloso-Espino has been bedridden.

The grant of monthly pension is mandated under Republic Act 9064 which provides that cash incentives and retirement benefit program of this Act shall be taken from the net cash income of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. to be remitted directly as a special account to the National Sports Commission Development Fund and the PSC.

Saying there should be no reason to withhold the payment of the cash benefit to the recipient athletes, Pimentel said he learned from Mequi that PSC Chairman William I. Ramirez had promised to act on the matter in mid-April but the senior athletes are still waiting hopefully not in vain.

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