MANILA, Philippines – Shooter Arturo “Art” Macapagal, a two-time Olympian who came very close to becoming president of the Philippine Olympic Committee in 2008, passed away yesterday morning due to cancer.
He was 72.
Philippine Sports Commission chairman Richie Garcia was saddened by the news, and offered his deepest sympathy to the Macapagal family.
“I’ve known Art for many years. I’ve seen his love for sports. He was a shooter and Olympian. He tried to unite the Olympians,” said Garcia.
“He achieved a lot during his time as a shooter and officer. He used to call me to offer his help and his advice. Those are deeply appreciated,” the PSC chairman added.
Jose Romasanta, vice president of the POC, said the Filipino sports community mourns the death of Macapagal.
Sportshub ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1
A half-brother of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Macapagal represented the country in the 1972 Munich and 1976 Montreal Olympics, competing in the free pistol event.
Until the ’80s, Macapagal was the country’s top shooter, and was named the POC’s Most Outstanding Shooter of the Decade. He also received awards from the Philippine Sportswriters Association in the early ’70s.
The son of former President Diosdado Macapagal turned down offers for him to run as governor and congressman in Pampanga in the ’70s and ’80s. Instead he went into business, becoming president and CEO of Toyota Pasong Tamo.
For many years, he headed the Philippine National Shooting Association, and also became president of the Philippine Olympians Association.
Then in 2008, he challenged Jose “Peping” Cojuangco for the POC presidency, but lost a very tight battle. Of the 40 votes cast, Macapagal got 19, and Cojuangco 21.
Cojuangco, who became POC chief in 2004, won a third term in 2012.
In the days leading to the 2008 POC elections, Macapagal told The STAR that life in sports is different from in politics.
“I am not a politician. Maybe we should remove the word politics in sports, and don’t use that word anymore so we don’t encourage it,” he said.
Macapagal said to achieve success in sports, there must be unity among all. The leaders, he stressed then, must set the example.
“We sports officials are only public servants. We are here to inspire, not demoralize. We are here to support, not make things difficult,” said Macapagal.
He was a true sportsman.g