Manila, Philippines - The Philippine Olympic Committee has given its recognition to three national sports associations (NSAs), including the troubled Philippine Karatedo Federation.
Mark Joseph, one of the two POC deputy secretary-generals, made the announcement in confirming the elections of Police Gen. Lucas Managuelod, Harbour Centre owner Mikee Romero and Enrico Vasquez as new heads of the muay thai, shooting and karatedo associations, respectively.
“In our recent meeting with the executive board, the POC has come up with a decision to recognize the elections in muay thai, shooting and karatedo as official members of the POC,” said Joseph, also the aquatics chief.
While the muay thai and shooting elections were orderly and peaceful, the karatedo leadership is still being contested by athletics chief Go Teng Kok, who heads one of the two groups claiming to be official leaders of the association. In fact, Go filed a court case against the new karatedo leadership as well as some POC officials.
Meanwhile, Vasquez’s group named a 37-player pool, which was without several national team standouts headed by Marna Pabillore, a two-time Southeast Asian Games gold medalist and Asian Games silver medal winner.
Philippine Sports Commission chair Richie Garcia has confirmed the PSC has already stricken Pabillore and her group of the national team roster, meaning they will no longer receive their monthly allowances and be allowed to stay at their dormitories at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.
“We’ve just received the letter and it will take effect immediately,” said Garcia.
“We will now inform the athletes to vacate these dormitories since they are no longer members of the pool and we will instruct security not to let them in otherwise there will be anarchy if these athletes will not follow,” he said.
Garcia, however, stressed that it’s not the PSC decision to remove the athletes from the list but the POC and the NSAs.
However, the POC has yet to resolve the leadership dispute in cycling, being contested by Tagaytay City Mayor Bambol Tolentino and former PSC chair and Cabinet Secretary Philip Ella Juico.
POC president Jose “Peping” Cojuangco Jr. though signified his intention to form a unified cycling team for the 26th SEA Games slated Nov. 11-25 in Palembang and Jakarta, Indonesia.
“Both parties are cooperating, they’re both decent people,” said Joseph. “They have a designated ‘neutral man’ that’s why the POC is smoothly finding resolution to the problem.”