Arturo (Art) Macapagal, 72, died of prostate cancer early Tuesday morning at the Makati Medical Center.
Macapagal, an outstanding shooter during his heyday who represented the national colors during the 1972 and 1976 Summer Olympics, was an excellent sports leader who would have been the best Philippine Olympic Committee the country ever had if fate had been more kind.
I personally campaigned for Art Macapagal during the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) presidential elections in November of 2008 where the son of the former Philippine president lost by a close vote of 21-19 against the overstaying incumbent. The last minute turnaround 2 votes to the other side were my close friends who later regrets for what they did to us.
Art, as he was known to his close friends, saw action in the pistol event during the 1972 Munich Olympics and 1976 Montreal Olympics.
Art is the eldest son of former president Diosdado Macapagal and half brother of former Philippine president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
It was a sad day for Philippine sports when Art finally crossed the Great Beyond. He came at a time when the country was looking not only for a legitimate sports leader that ruled without fear nor favor and would not decide on matters on the basis of political patronage.
Art would have run the POC in a democratic way and certainly his brand of leadership would not have divided Philippine sports into bits and pieces by way of taking over the leadership – through his henchmen – the various National Sports Association (NSA) entities that dared to go against his wishes, let alone caprice.
Art would have been a unifying POC president who would think of the greater good instead of protecting his own interests and playing politics.
Philippine sports is much poorer today with the demise of Art Macapagal.
Our heartfelt condolences go to the family and relatives that Art left behind. May the God Almighty grant him eternal peace!