All systems go for POC elections on Friday

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 24 2020 01:23 PM

All systems go for POC elections on Friday 1
POC president Abraham "Bambol" Tolentino, is flanked by POC chairman Steve Hontiveros (left) and board member Cynthia Carrion in this file photo. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA, Philippines -- Protocols and guidelines are in place for the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) elections, scheduled for Friday afternoon at the East Ocean Palace Restaurant in Parañaque City.

The health protocols were finalized in coordination with the Inter-Agency Task Force and the Department of Health. Those who will attend the elections in person have to take an antigen test, while those who cannot vote in person have availed of sealed ballots.

"I think everything is set up already. Nakalatag na and pupunta na lang doon," incumbent POC president Abraham "Bambol" Tolentino said Tuesday, during an appearance on the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum. 

"Even the sealed ballots na nag-avail, there will be designated area for them to drop. May mga watchers, etc.," he added.

Tolentino assured that protocols are in place should a voter test positive for COVID-19. 

"For voters, you will be separated, doon ka na bibigyan ng balota, kukunin na 'yung ballot mo, so ida-drop na 'yun ng EleCom doon," he said. 

"For non-voters, baka pauwiin ka na. Meron ding ambulance doon, baka pauwiin ka na," he added.

Those who test positive in the antigen test will be advised to take an RT-PCR swab test as well and report to the nearest facility. 

Tolentino anticipates that at least 50 NSAs will vote in person, although some of them will just "come and go," particularly the senior citizens.

"Meron diyan nagsabi na darating sila sa oras na ng botohan, especially the seniors," he said. "Darating, boboto, aalis. Maganda rin 'yun dahil sa isang banda, naka-iwas din 'yung mga kasama nating may edad na sa exposure."

The voting proper is expected to start at 1 p.m.

The list of candidates was deemed final on Saturday, after the POC Election Committee denied the disqualification case filed against Tolentino and his party by the opposing slate, led by archery president Atty. Clint Aranas. 

Tolentino, who claimed the POC presidency after a special election in July 2019, is seeking a fresh four-year term that will see him lead the organization until the Paris Olympics in 2024. 

There are 54 voters in the POC elections — 51 NSAs, Athletes Commission representatives Hidilyn Diaz and Jhessie Lacuna, and IOC representative to the Philippines Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworski.

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