POC election to push through; Vargas wary of disqualification
There will be an election all right, but looks like it’s heading down the same road, where Boxing Chief Ricky Vargas will be disqualified from challenging long-time incumbent Peping Cojuangco for the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) presidency.
“They might disqualify us — strongly,” said Vargas following the POC extraordinary general assembly on Monday at the Wack Wack Golf and Country Club. “They will come up with mechanics, so we will see. But the process they’re leading to is towards disqualification.”
The POC general assembly agreed to call for an election on Feb. 23, but the circumstances might just be the same with an election committee still headed by former International Olympic Committee Representative Frank Elizalde.
“We’re not giving up,” said Vargas. “Why are they afraid to have an election with us as the candidate? If they disqualify us, which I think is what’s going to happen, that’s a possible indirect contempt [from the court]. There may also be a possible movement from the NSA members.”
Vargas’ camp has been circulating a petition among the National Sports Associations (NSA) for the POC to comply with the Pasig City Regional Trial Court (RTC) ruling that instructed the local Olympic officials to hold a new poll and include the names of Vargas and Cycling Chief Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino as candidate for chair.
“That petition was signed by majority of the members of the POC,” said Boxing Secretary General Ed Picson.
In 2016, Cojuangco earned a fourth straight term as president but only after the POC election committee disqualified Vargas for failing to meet the qualification for “active membership.”
The election committee, which then had Bro. Bernie Oca FSC and Representative Conrado Estrella III as members, interpreted the required active membership as physical presence in general assemblies.
“We have to follow the by-laws as far as conduct of election is concerned,” said POC Spokesman Prospero Pichay.
Oca will again be part of the election committee, while Estrella begged off and will be replaced by election lawyer Alberto Agra.
“We don’t see anything new with it,” said Vargas, who had countered that active membership shouldn’t be solely based on attendance records. “It could be the same people who will be asked to interpret again what is active.”
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