MANILA, Philippines -- (UPDATED) PhilCycling chief Abraham "Bambol" Tolentino was elected president of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) on Sunday.
Tolentino defeated track and field head Philip Ella Juico, 24-20, in a tight race at special elections held at the Century Park Hotel in Manila.
Tolentino, 55, takes over the position vacated by former POC president Ricky Vargas, who resigned last June 18 following questions regarding his involvement in various controversies surrounding the country's hosting of the 30th Southeast Asian Games.
"Thank you very much doon sa mga sumuporta. Hopefully, natapos na rin itong POC squabble. So I think, as the saying goes, set aside the differences, and move forward. Let us all be united, because we are preparing (and) focused on the SEA Games, and next year Para Games and Olympics," Tolentino said following his election.
Tolentino will fulfill the rest of Vargas's tenure, and will hold office until November 2020.
Forty five of the 46 voters were present on Sunday, with the Philippine National Shooting Association absent from the elections. Forty national sports associations (NSAs) voted through their president or secretary-general, while handball voted through a designated representative.
The Philippine Rugby Football Union, for its part, sent a representative but opted not to vote.
Also voting were Hidilyn Diaz and Henry Dagmil, the representatives of the Athletes Commission. International Olympic Committee (IOC) representative to the Philippines Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworski completed the voters.
Steve Hontiveros of handball was elected as POC chairman, beating Robert Aventajado of taekwondo, 26-18.
Meanwhile, Clint Aranas of archery and Cynthia Carrion of gymnastics were elected as board members, beating out Monico Puentevella of weightlifting and Lani Velasco of swimming.
Aranas and Carrion regained their posts in the board after resigning in the midst of the leadership squabble in the POC earlier this month.
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