PHILIPPINE Olympic Committee (POC) President Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino confirmed on Tuesday that he will run anew in elections set for November.
He made the announcement at the online Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum, saying he is eyeing reelection to sit for a full term and build on the sports agency’s gains since he took office last year.
POC elections are set for Nov. 27.
“Yes. I will definitely run for a complete term,” said Mr. Tolentino, the head of the Integrated Cycling Federation of the Philippines (PhilCycling).
Mr. Tolentino was elected POC president in July last year, filling up the position left by boxing federation’s Ricky Vargas, who decided to step down after just one year in office.
Included in Mr. Tolentino’s ticket are Al Panlilio of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas as first vice-president, and Ormoc City Mayor Richard Gomez of fencing and modern pentathlon as second vice-president.
Clint Aranas of archery has signified as well his intention to run as POC president.
In seeking reelection, Mr. Tolentino said primary in his push will be building on the gains that Philippine sports has gained while he is the head of the POC.
“Not to sound like self-promoting; despite the short time in office, I think we have done a lot. What more if I’m given a full term of four years?”, said Mr. Tolentino, who is also a sitting congressman representing the 7th district of Cavite.
He went on to underscore that he has worked hard in pushing for Philippine sports, including helping the country win the overall championship in the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games under his watch as the local Olympic body head.
Mr. Tolentino was also a prime mover, in his capacity as congressman, for the restoration of the full amount of the allowances of national athletes and coaches, which were slashed by half early this year as funds were channelled to the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
The POC president made sure that a P180-million budget to help restore the allowances to their normal level was included in the recently signed Bayanihan Act 2 bill.
“Hopefully it (budget) would help the athletes and coaches. It’s our way of helping them for winning the overall championship in the SEA Games,” Mr. Tolentino said.
Filing of candidacy for the elections begins on Oct. 1 and will run for the whole month.
Other positions to be filled are chairman, treasurer, auditor, and four board members.
To ensure that they guard against the spread of the coronavirus, Mr. Tolentino said they will impose strict guidelines, including making rapid or swab-testing mandatory for those participating in the elections. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo