“Virtual unknown upsets top seed.”
Drawing from a common sports analogy, this was how national archery chief Atty. Clint Aranas opened his press conference Saturday to announce his complete ticket as he runs for president of the Philippine Olympic Committee on Nov. 27.
Aranas referred to himself as the “virtual unknown,” while the “top seed” is POC president Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino who is seeking reelection and a fresh 4-year mandate.
Completing the slate of Aranas, a former Government Surety and Insurance System president and general manager, are weightlifting chief and veteran sports hand Monico Puentevella as auditor while his candidates as directors are Robert Bachmann (squash), Robert Mananquil (billiards and snooker) and Atty. Charlie Ho (netball).
Aranas also named muay thai secretary-general Pearl Managuelod, who is officially on the Tolentino slate, as a common candidate to the POC Executive Board.
The World Archery Philippines president earlier named chairman Steve Hontiveros, treasurer Juiian Camacho, both incumbents, and athletics chief Philip Ella Juico and rugby secretary-general Ada Milby, an independent candidate, as his running mates for first vice president and second vice president, respectively.
“I envision ourselves to be a working POC board,” he said, “and intend to bring the POC closer and in touch with the NSAs.”
Aranas, whose campaign promised transparency and accountability, said he was aware that he and his team were “underdogs” but was still keen on enhancing and strengthening the nearly century-old institution and its member national sports associations.
“I have asked some NSA representatives what the POC has done to you. Some said recognition, others said ‘wala’ (none), while there are some who said na hindi namin nararamdaman (we don’t feel it),” he said.
“These are sad statements, very sad statements.”
As the champion of the Olympic movement in the country, Aranas said the POC “should be an ambassador of Philippines sports to the community. Unless we know our roles, we shall never know what to do.”
A tax and corporate lawyer, he said he intends to tap into his private-sector connections to help NSAs “be self-reliant and self-sustaining” by clustering into groups “so that each will have a share of the pie.
“But I will have to see the plans and programs first before presenting them to corporate sponsors. There are a lot of expense accounts in corporations. An ad is an expense, a marketing venture is an expense but donating, contributing to and NSA is a tax deductible item,” Aranas added.
An accomplished businessman, Bachmann said that in the event their side wins “we will be setting up a common fund for NSAs to draw from as cash advances whenever they have engagements abroad while awaiting their respective allotments from the Philippine Sports Commission.”
He noted that due to the PSC’s red tape “often our athletes and coaches going overseas become frantic because they have not received their support shortly before their departure. We will help them by advancing the money.
“They will have to liquidate it, however, and reimburse it to the POC once they get their PSC support.”
Both Aranas and Bachmann said they would also the greater involvement of the POC Athletes Commission in the POC board deliberations “since they will be our future sports leaders.”