Court nullifies POC elections, orders inclusion of Vargas in re-run set on Feb. 23
Boxing chief Ricky Vargas won his bout against Philippine Olympic Committee president Peping Cojuangco at the Pasig City Regional Trial Court, which ordered that a new elections for POC president and chairman be held early next year.
Judge Maria Gracia Cadiz-Casaclang of Pasig RTC Branch 155 declared null and void the POC polls on Nov. 25, 2016 when Cojuangco ran unopposed and earned his fourth straight term.
Casaclang likewise ordered the local Olympic body to conduct a new the POC election on February 23, 2018 and include Vargas and Cavite representative Abraham Tolentino as candidates for president and chairman, respectively.
“I am much relieved by the court decision. We fought on principle and now the NSAs (national sports associations) are given the opportunity to choose,” said Vargas, president of the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines.
The Inquirer tried but failed to reach Cojuangco for comment.
“This decision now opens up the democratic process. A patently wrong and discriminatory position has been corrected,” said Vargas. “The reforms have begun.”
Vargas was supposed to challenge Cojuangco, the incumbent president at that time, but was disqualified by the election committee headed by former International Olympic Committee representative Frank Elizalde.
The POC comelec, which also had Bro. Bernie Oca FSC and representative Conrado Estrella III as members, ruled that Vargas and Tolentino were not “active members” of the POC general assembly.
Tolentino is the country’s cycling chief and president of the Integrated Cycling Federation of the Philippines.
According to Elizalde, Article 7, Section 11 of the POC constitution and by-laws state that candidates for president and chairman should be an active member of the POC general assembly for two consecutive years.
It said candidates should have attended at least 50 percent plus one of the total number of GAs the past two years. These GAs are held every two months.
Elizalde said Vargas attended the GA only once while Tolentino thrice over the past two years prior to the election.
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