Reelected POC president Abraham "Bambol" Tolentino is flanked by board members Dave Carter (from left) and Charlie Ho, first vice-president Al Panlilio, treasurer Cynthia Carrion, second vice-president Richard Gomez, and board member Pearl Managuelod.Handout
Abraham "Bambol" Tolentino was reelected president of the Philippine Olympic Committee on Friday.George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News/file
Abraham "Bambol" Tolentino on Friday was voted to another term as Philippine Olympic Committee president.
In elections held in Parañaque City Tolentino, head of the national cycling federation and the congressional representative of the 8th district of Cavite, beat lawyer Clint Aranas, the challenger who heads the national archery body.
Fifty-three votes were cast in the polls at East Ocean Palace Restaurant, and Tolentino secured the victory when he got the majority 27 votes with 8 left to be counted.
The final tally was 30-22.
"What we achieved in one year as POC president, we will be able to do more in the next four years," Tolentino said. "Expect a lot of surprises from this team."
He added that one his top priorities was the managing the country's 2021 Tokyo Olympics campaign, "where we believe the country can win the first gold medal."
The others who won seats included: Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas head Al Panlilio as first vice president, second vice-president Richard Gomez (fencing and pentathlon), auditor Chito Loyzaga (baseball), treasurer Cynthia Carrion (gymnastics), and board members Dave Carter (judo), Charlie Ho (netball), Pearl Managuelod (muay Thai) and Raul Canlas (surfing).
Tolentino took over the POC leadership after winning a special election in July 2019, after Ricky Vargas, president of the national boxing association resigned.
A new term meant Tolentino will lead the country into its campaign in the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.
Tolentino banked his candidacy on the Philippines winning the overall championship at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, and the significant role he played helping national athletes and coaches receive their full allowances again.
The only sports federation head who did not attend was table tennis chief Ting Ledesma.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Badminton Association was allowed to vote with PBA secretary-general Christoper Quimpo casting the ballot on behalf of the body under the apparent instructions of former Vice President Jejomar "Jojo" Binay, who showed up at the venue.
Binay said he remained the PBA president, and the federation's representative to the polls.
But outgoing POC first vice-president Joey Romasanta said sportsman-businessman and PBA chairman Manny Pangilinan helped to settle the impasse that allowed the association to vote seven minutes before the voting closed at 3 p.m.
Another last-minute voter was ice skating, whose mail-in ballot was almost rejected because the POC electoral committee led by Atty. Ted Kalaw IV could not at first verify the identity of the courier.
The vote was validated with 3 minutes to spare.
Most of Tolentino's ticket also won, with Panlilio, Gomez, Carrion, Loyzaga, Canlas, Carter and Managuelod gaining posts.
The only survivors on the Aranas slate were Steve Hontiveros, reelected POC chairman after beating triathlon head Tom Carrasco 28-27, and Ho as director of the POC Executive Board.
"The POC members have spoken so we respect the outcome of the election," Aranas said in conceding defeat.
He, however, said that the civil complaint that the POC board filed against the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee over its report on the 30th SEA Games would continue.
Tolentino said his new board would also tackle the amendments to the POC constitution and by-laws "which the International Olympic Committee."
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