POC elections: Go or no-go for Go?

By Abac Cordero, The Philippine Star

Posted at Nov 06 2012 09:10 AM | Updated as of Nov 06 2012 05:10 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The possibility remains that athletics chief Go Teng Kok will be allowed to run and challenge incumbent Philippine Olympic Committee president Jose "Peping" Cojuangco in the Nov. 30 POC elections.

"Mr. Go Teng Kok is neither cleared nor disqualified," said Ricky Palou, a member of a special three-man panel overseeing the conduct of the forthcoming POC elections.

The panel is headed by former Rep. Victorico Chaves and includes Br. Bernard Oca. They sat down yesterday to discuss the eligibility of all the candidates.

Palou said everybody who filed their candidacies have been cleared to run – except Go. But the panel withheld its decision regarding Go.

Go beat the deadline for the filing of candidacy last Oct. 26 but immediately faced the prospects of disqualification because of a previous POC decision declaring him persona non-grata.

But Go got a favorable ruling from the Pasay Regional Trial Court that the POC decision to expel him from the local Olympic body was without due process and unlawful.

The POC then petitioned the Supreme Court which in turn dismissed the petition. Copies of the Supreme Court decision have already circulated but the POC said it has yet to see one.

"There is said to be this document from the Supreme Court. Now the Supreme Court has to transmit a copy of this ruling to the POC," said Palou over the telephone.

"Once the POC receives a copy, then we will allow Go to run in the elections. But it must be a formal transmission from the Supreme Court. Walang hocus-pocus," said Palou.

"All he (Go) needs is for that Supreme Court ruling to reach the POC and he will be allowed to run in the POC elections," Palou added.

Go expressed elation with the development but still couldn't believe that the POC has yet to see or receive a copy of the Supreme Court ruling.

He said he will reach out to the Supreme Court.

"I will personally ask the sheriff to transmit a copy of the ruling to the POC. I will make sure the POC gets a copy," said the athletics chief.

Earlier yesterday, word spread that the three-man panel had already disqualified Go from running in the POC elections, prompting the popular sports official to issue a statement.

"I will not be silenced by the disqualification which has no solid basis," he said.

Palou said the final decision on Go's eligibility may come on Nov. 15.