Less than 24 hours after declining the offer, Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman Butch Ramirez finally reconsidered and has accepted the post as chef de mission (CDM) for the Philippine team in the 30th Southeast Asian Games.

“I humbly accept the chef de mission post for Team Philippines’ 2019 Southeast Asian Games participation,” said Ramirez in a statement on Wednesday.

Ramirez said he initially declined to accept the post out of “delicadeza” since he is the chairman of the PSC, a government sports body.

He said the people in Malacañang gave him the go-signal to take it.

“Last night, I was given firm instructions which I shall carry out, knowing beyond any doubt that national interest is [a] primary concern of the government and should be of all,” Ramirez said.

“I accept the challenges of the CDM position, aside from the instructions of my bosses, is to heed the call for help of the Philippine Olympic Committee. As the sports government arm, we show our readiness to step in, to help in the capacity being requested and if possible, mediate to make unity happen,” he added.

The chef de mission position for the SEA Games was declared vacant after POC president Ricky Vargas relieved Makati Representative Monsour Del Rosario from the said position as part of a major revamp on Monday (May 27).

Vargas thanked Ramirez for accepting the offer to be the chef de mission of the Philippine delegation to the 30th SEA Games which the country will host for the fourth time from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11 this year.

“I thank PSC chairman William ‘Butch’ Ramirez for his personal sacrifice in coming to a difficult decision reconsidering his appointment as chef de mission to the 30th SEA Games,” said Vargas in a separate statement.

Vargas also appreciated the support extended by Malacañang to the POC.

“I express my sincere appreciation to President Rodrigo R. Duterte for coming to the side of the athletes in their quest for glory in the coming Southeast Asian Games. President has shown that he will always put the welfare of the athletes above all else,” Vargas said.

He called on all parties in the POC to unite by drawing inspiration from the President.

“We can never achieve our goals unless we are one in ensuring the success of the SEA Games,” Vargas said. (From PNA)

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