MANILA -- The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) will hold a special election on July 5 after an informal meeting of national sports association heads on Tuesday at the GSIS gym in Pasay City.
After a three-hour, closed-door extraordinary general assembly that was eventually deemed invalid because of technicalities, several members of the Board ‘out of delicadeza’ decided to vacate their elected positions for a fresh mandate.
The meeting was called exactly a week after POC president Ricky Vargas resigned from his post after just 18 months in office. Vargas defeated Peping Cojuangco in a re-election February last year.
“The GA was declared invalid, nasa corporate code ‘yun eh. They called for an extraordinary GA but an extraordinary GA, stated ‘yun sa bylaws ng POC, you must have a 10-day notice,” said POC chairman Bambol Tolentino. “Kung nag-resign si Mr. Vargas ng June 18, so ang 10 days nun June 28. Mayroon lang isang mag-object invalid na ‘yun. I don’t want to be a part of an invalid GA.”
After a long discussion Tolentino announced the date of election to be held at Golden Bay in Macapagal Avenue, Pasay City.
“After that nag-announce ako ng election taking the opportunity na nandoon lahat. Nag-announce ako ng election 10 days from now, which is the regular basic rule,” said Tolentino.
The term of the newly elected officers will just fulfill the unfinished term or until December 31, 2020.
POC 1st vice president Joey Romasanta, who assumed the position of Vargas but was questioned for his eligibility under the POC bylaws, Tolentino, auditor Jonne Go and Board member Clint Aranas verbally stepped down from their posts.
“This is something that I also felt that should be done a long time ago. We need fresh faces, new faces, new ideas in the POC,” said Romasanta, who added that he will not run for a position.
“We cannot go on like this forever. Very clearly we have a divided Philippine Olympic Committee. And I hope that the next generation, the next set of officers incoming will be able to address all of this and change the image of the POC.”
Despite the resignations, members of the POC Board will still function until the election and assured that the preparation for the country’s hosting of the Southeast Asian Games in November will not be affected.
“The Philippine Olympic Committee as it is, is already a damaged organization that’s why we have to make this drastic measure for us to correct things and also at the same time provide a better impression of the POC. It’s not about us, but it’s about the institution,” added Romasanta.
Treasurer Julian Camacho and Board member Cynthia Carrion remain undecided while Prospero Pichay, Roberto Mananquil and 2nd vice Jeff Tamayo didn’t attend the meeting.
Former International Olympic Committee representative Frank Elizalde will be the COMELEC chair of the election.
This story originally appeared on the ABS-CBN Sports website.