PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — ADD Quezon City Congressman Mat Defensor to the list of chess leaders who have thrown their full support to the newly-elected National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) officials, led by president/chairman Prospero “Butch” Pichay and secretary-general Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino.
Defensor finally came out into open and urged all chess officials and players to unite and work together for the good of local chess under Pichay and his NCFP officers.
“Let’s all come out and support Pichay and the newly-elected NCFP officials,” said Defensor during the “Thanksgiving Dinner” hosted by newly-installed GM Jayson Gonzales at the Peach Blossoms Restaurant in North Ave, Quezon City last Wednesday.
“The NCFP is doing very well in promoting local chess. Under Pichay, the country has already produced three GMs (Darwin Laylo, Wesley So and Gonzales) and I believe we can add some more in the coming months,” added Defensor, who has also served as NCFP president and chairman.
Defensor later sat beside Pichay and personally congratulated him for his re-election.
In turn, Pichay lauded Defensor for his contributions in the development of local chess and cited the Quezon City’s lawmaker’s assistance to Gonzales’ bid to become the country’s ninth GM.
Defensor’s pronouncement , coupled by the withdrawal of former Benguet Gov. Rocky Molintas and Dr. Jenny Mayor, is seen by long-time chess observers as a clear signal that unity in local chess will soon be achieved.
Molintas and Mayor have already submitted an affidavit of desistance, claiming they are withdrawing their petition which questioned the legality of the recent NCFP election and now fully recognize Pichay as the NCFP head.
Defensor, Molintas and Mayor were originally part of the eight-man NCFP faction which filed for an injuction in the Quezon City regional trial court and sought a temporary restraining order (TRO) in the scheduled NCFP General Assembly/Elections in Tagaytay City last Jan. 19.
Both Defensor and Mayor attended Gonzales’ party, along with Pichay, NCFP executive director Willie Abalos, Chess Journalists Association of the Philippines (CJAP) adviser Manny Benitez, Asia’s first GM Eugene Torre and other top chess officials.