'Trabaho na 'to': Tolentino shifts focus to SEA Games after winning POC presidency

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 28 2019 04:16 PM

'Trabaho na 'to': Tolentino shifts focus to SEA Games after winning POC presidency 1
Clint Aranas, Steve Hontiveros, Bambol Tolentino, and Cynthia Carrion celebrate their victory in the special POC elections. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA, Philippines -- Newly elected Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Abraham "Bambol" Tolentino declared his readiness to get to work after winning the post in a special election on Sunday at the Century Park Hotel in Manila.

Tolentino, the chief of PhilCycling and the representative of the 7th district of Cavite, defeated track and field head Philip Ella Juico with a count of 24-20.

"Trabaho na 'to. We are here," Tolentino told reporters afterward. 

"I'm here to serve, not to be served. That's my only message. I'm here to serve, not to be served. So I'll be serving the sports community," he vowed.

Tolentino, who was the POC chairman during the presidency of Ricky Vargas, said he will continue the reforms being put in place by the immediate past president. His first order of business will be to appoint a new secretary-general, a new deputy secretary-general, and a new head of the membership committee.

He intends to name Pato Gregorio as the secretary-general, restoring him to his old position during Vargas's presidency. He also plans to offer the post of deputy secretary-general to Ormoc City Mayor Richard Gomez, the head of fencing in the Philippines.

Gen. Lucas Managuelod, like Gregorio, will be restored to his old position as head of the membership committee.

"Sila naman 'yung in-appoint before eh. Inabot lang ng resignation," explained Tolentino.

The most pressing issue for Tolentino, however, is the SEA Games which the country will host in November to December.

"Doon talaga ang focus natin. Hindi naman tayo humihiwalay pa. Talagang we have to focus on that. It's barely how many months to go," said Tolentino. 

"Hindi po tayo nawawala sa direksyon, with PHISGOC, PSC, and for SEA Games, Para Games, then Olympics," he added.

Tolentino will fulfill the rest of Vargas's term as POC president and another election will be held in November 2020.

Elected alongside Tolentino was Steve Hontiveros as POC chairman, and Clint Aranas and Cynthia Carrion as board members.

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