No entity can select the members of the Philippine swimming team to the 30th Southeast Asian Games other than the local swim body recognized by the International Swimming Federation or Fina.

The legitimate officers of the Philippine Swimming Inc. yesterday notified the PSI general membership in a memorandum not to entertain a group that falsely announced an open tryouts for the national team.

“It has come to our attention that a group led by Eric Buhain and Carlos Brosas have announced open tryouts for participation in the swimming competitions of the Southeast Asian Games to be held in the Philippines later this year,’’ said the memorandum issued by the PSI Board of Trustees.

“They also claimed to have opened online registration for participation in these tryouts claiming to represent Philippine Swimming Inc.,’’ added the statement which was circulated to all PSI registered members nationwide.

The duly elected officers of the swim association vehemently denounced the misrepresentation since Buhain and Brosas are not members of the PSI, which is also recognized by the Asian Swimming Federation (AASF).

“Participation in the Southeast Asian Games swimming competition can only be achieved under the auspices of the PSI, AASF and Fina,’’ said the memorandum.

“Clearly, the group led by Buhain and Brosas are misleading the general public as to the true leadership of Philippine Swimming Inc., as well as their authority to conduct any swimming competitions with an aim towards participating in the Southeast Asia Games,’’ it added.

The memorandum explained that a new set of PSI officers and board of trustees headed by Lailani Velasco as president were properly and validly elected on February 17, 2018.

According to the board of trustees, the results of the election were ratified by 67 out of the 87 clubs from all over the country in a well-attended general membership meeting last Dec. 7.

Fina executive director Cornel Marculescu and president Dr. Julio Maglione have recognized Velasco’s election as well as the AASF through its secretary general Taha Al-Kishry.

POC membership committee chair Robert Bachmann confirmed that the PSI under Velasco enjoys the support of the POC, which lifted the suspension of the swim body through an executive board resolution.

The reinstatement of the PSI headed by Velasco was then ratified by the POC general assembly two months ago.

“We have been working together toward the betterment of Philippine aquatics and we hope to be allowed to continue doing so unfettered by baseless claims and accusations, as well as acts aimed at sowing divisiveness and confusion,’’ declared the PSI Board of Trustees.

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