Philippine Olympic Committee set for a special election

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By Michael Angelo S. Murillo
Senior Reporter

TO RID the organization of any question in leadership as well as settle conflicts within the group, the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) has decided to set the holding of a special election.

In a media briefing on Tuesday at the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) Building in Pasay City, following an extraordinary assembly which was later proclaimed null and void, the POC said it had been agreed upon to hold an election at least by July 5.

Several members of the executive board also signified their intention to resign from their posts to clear the air for moving on, including Joey Romasanta as first vice-president.

It was also announced that the board will function in a “holdover capacity” until the election.

Mr. Romasanta said he has no intention of running as president in the special election, to give way, he said, to “fresh faces and new ideas” in the organization.

Mr. Romasanta assumed the POC presidency on June 18 upon the sudden resignation of Ricky Vargas as president.

“I will no longer run out of delicadeza. We need fresh faces, new ideas in the POC. We cannot go like this forever because we have a divided POC. The POC is a damaged organization. This is an opportunity to correct all the mistakes. This is about the institution,” said Mr. Romasanta.

Adding, “We have done this for us to be stronger. I’ve served this country for so long. I’ve made my mark in Philippine sports. This is the time to give others the opportunity to serve.”

Also offering to resign were POC chairman Abrahan Tolentino, auditor Jonne Go, treasurer Julian Camacho, board members Cynthia Carrion and Clint Aranas and former POC president Peping Cojuangco.

The leadership issue at the POC falls at a crucial juncture with the country set to host the 30th Southeast Asian Games in five months’ time.

Stakeholders are hoping for its prompt resolution so as to channel focus and effort in the SEA Games preparations.