Binay disputes POC voters list; Albee Benitez represents badminton at polls, says exec

Manolo Pedralvez

Posted at Nov 25 2020 07:05 PM

Former Vice-President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay, who has said he remains the president of the Philippine Badminton Association Inc. Smash Pilipinas, wrote the Philippine Olympic Committee secretariat Monday that he will be voting on behalf of the association at the POC elections on Friday.

Former Negros Occidental congressman Alfredo “Albee” Benitez, not Binay, was on the “official” voters list issued by POC secretary general Atty. Edwin Gastanes on Nov. 9, which is being disputed by Philippine Squash Academy president Robert Bachmann. 

“I would like to confirm my attendance to the 27 November 2020 POC Elections. I have read the Guidelines/Protocols in the coming elections for attendees who will physically appear in the venue and undertake to comply with them,” Binay wrote.

The letter was addressed to POC secretariat and administrator head Dinah Remolacio.

PBA secretary-general Christopher Quimpo said that while Binay remained an officer of the PBA, “(Binay) is our vice president based on our current Securities and Exchange Commission registration.”

Quimpo said Benitez “is both recognized by World Badminton and Badminton Asia as the president of our National Sports Association.” 

He added that unless Benitez, who is based outside of Manila, informs him otherwise, he will be casting the vote on behalf of the PBA on Friday. 

Binay had written to Valeriano “Bones” Floro, the POC membership commission chairman, last Nov. 11 that he “was elected President of the Philippine Badminton Association, a non-stock, non-profit association organized under existing laws and duly recognized as Regular Member of the Philippine Olympic Committee.”

“As President of the National Sports Association, I was not notified of any election of officers of the PBA in 2017 or 2018 to the present, nor was I ever invited to any of its meetings,” Binay said. 

“I maintain that unless a valid election is held in accordance with the PBA by-laws and POC by-laws, I shall continue to represent the PBA in the Philippine Olympic Committee.”

“Those are the Vice President’s signatures and I am quite familiar with his penmanship,” said former taekwondo secretary-general Monsour del Rosario, who was a Makati councilor when Binay was the mayor of the city, after receiving screenshot copies of the letters. 

When asked about the issue, Atty. Teddy Kalaw IV, chairperson of the POC electoral committee, replied that he was aware of the Binay correspondence but referred it to the POC general assembly for deliberation and action.

In its decision over the weekend, the poll body would no longer entertain any election protests.

“See the letter, it is not addressed to the elecom. Jurisdiction over voters is the general assembly,” Kalaw said in a text message. “You should check with the POC Standing Commission on membership as to how they will address that.” 

Floro was unaware of an election or change in leadership in the PBA, according to Bachmann, who is running as member of the POC Executive Board on the ticket of POC presidential aspirant and archery chief Atty. Clint Aranas.

The PSA president was the predecessor of Floro during the term of former POC president Ricky Vargas, who stepped down on June 18, 2019, and could not also recall any PBA election that voted Benitez as the new president while he was chair of the commission.

“I called Bones up to clarify the matter and he informed me that he could not recall any election during his time since he became commission chairman during the start of the term of Tolentino (on July 28, 2020) that there had been a PBA election with Benitez as the president,” Bachmann said.

Bachman said this was why he wrote Gastanes last Nov. 20 regarding the POC voter’s list he released without the approval or authorization of the POC Executive Board.

“On November 10, 2020, you e-mailed the subject list to the ELECOM and the POC National Sports Association Regular Members. On the same day we replied if the POC Executive Board had reviewed and approved the list, to which he received no response to date. ” Bachmann wrote. “This was 10 days ago.”

“We are pointing this out to you (Gastanes) not to create any problems but to inform you that we have observed irregularities and inconsistencies in your Subject list,” he added.

“We say ‘your’ list because the November 10, 2020 list that you provided did not go through the Executive Board for review, discussion and approval just as it did in the election last year and all past elections.”

He said that until Tuesday he had not received any word from the POC sec-gen over the matter. 

“Jojo was surprised that he was no longer PBA president because he never informed of any meeting, moreso of a PBA election,” said POC first vice president Joey Romasanta, who is a friend of the former vice president and had a chat with him about the issue.