Disqualified Ricky Vargas blasts POC decision

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 28 2016 06:24 PM

Nothing political about Vargas's DQ, claims POC president

MANILA – Association of Boxing Alliances of the Philippines president Ricky Vargas blasted the decision of the election committee to disqualify him from running as president of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), saying the verdict was flawed and defective.

In a statement released on Friday by his spokesperson Atty. Chito Salud, Vargas said he found the decision faulty for lack of due process.

“It must be reversed,” said Salud, who cited four inconsistencies in the judgment.

For one, he noted that “the decision was made without any objection or opposition from a known third party.”

Vargas also said the decision was "hastily rendered" without the basic requisite hearing and that there was no written resolution issued by the committee to justify his disqualification.

“While the disqualification was made public via a verbal declaration, no written resolution has to date been issued by the election committee specifying and explaining the grounds for the exclusion,” Salud said.

The POC’s election committee has deemed Vargas “unqualified” for being inactive in POC assemblies, with POC election committee chair Frank Elizalde saying that Vargas only attended one general assembly meeting in the past two years.

The POC decision prompted Vargas's camp to file a motion for reconsideration before the POC election committee.

Based on election requirement under Article 7 Section 11 of the POC constitution, those running for president should be "an active member of the POC general assembly for two consecutive years at the time of their election."

Vargas, however, complained that the term "active member" isn't defined by a clear-cut set of parameters and criteria in the POC by-laws.

“This is deficient. Active membership is more than attendance. Physical presence at the general assembly does not equate to active participation,” Salud said.

“In the end, it is our athletes and NSAs who shall invariably be deprived of their right to a free and fair democratic exercise in hopes of reinvigorating Philippine sports,” he said.

Meanwhile, incumbent POC president Jose "Peping" Cojuangco claimed there is nothing political about the disqualification, noting that the election committee is merely enforcing elections rules that have been set set since 2008.

“There are very simple qualifications required for the POC. This is a ruling or provision that was approved by the POC, SEC, and the IOC (International Olympic Committee)," the POC chief said in an interview with DZSR Sports Radio.

Cojuangco said the same election guidelines were signed by representatives from basketball, boxing, cycling and other national sports associations aligned with Vargas.

"This was already implemented way back in 2008 kaya hindi naman bago ‘to,” he stressed.

The POC elections will take place on November 25

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