Former Bacolod City Mayor Monico Puentevella has been re-elected as president of the Philippine Weightlifting Association (PWA) on Saturday, replacing former chief Roger Dullano who irrevocably resigned to leave for the United States indefinitely due to family matters.
Puentevella has likewise served the association from 2001-2013 but relinquished the position when he became the local chief executive of Bacolod City and became the PWA’s President Emeritus. He has also served as Commissioner of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) from 1996 to 2001 before elected Congressman for the Lone District of Bacolod from 2001-2010. While, serving his last two terms as legislator representing Bacolod, Puentevella was also elected as Chairman of the Philippine Olympic Committee from 2008-2012.
As father of the Batang Pinoy grassroots program, Puentevella led the discovery of the eventual 2016 Brazil Olympic silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz. The Zamboanga-native Diaz was discovered in 2002 wherein she became a wild card and youngest participant in the Beijing Olympics. In 2012, Diaz became Philippines’ flag bearer in London Olympics, described Puentevella – who is also the used to be the President of Asian Weightlifting Federation.
Puentevella said that the association will be sending a delegation of 14 kids to the Asian Youth Championships in Tokyo next week while, brought two promising lifters last week to the World Youth Championships in Penang, Malaysia – 16-year-old Dessa de los Santos and 14-year-old Paolo Rivera where they performed creditably well among 52 countries.
“Our next goal is to bid for an international championship here in our country as soon as possible, with the support of President Rodrigo Duterte, through the PSC. Everybody in the International Weightlifting Federation, of which I was once a member, is very excited to have it here in our beautiful country. It’s been a long time since we hosted an international event. This way, we can promote the sport more and produce more Hidilyns in the country and go for that elusive Olympic gold,” Puentevella said.*