POC to meet, iron out ‘crucial’ 2019 SEA Games preparations

Beatrice Go
POC to meet, iron out ‘crucial’ 2019 SEA Games preparations
Vargas puts aside politics as he sets up a 'mutually acceptable' schedule for a POC board meeting

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Ricky Vargas will finally come face-to-face with the entire board on Tuesday, June 18. 

Vargas canceled the original date of the meeting on Monday, June 17, in order to find a “mutually acceptable” date and venue where the board can convene about the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games hosting. (TIMELINE: Will the POC feud affect PH’s SEA Games hosting?)

In the meantime, I have decided to accept the call of the majority of Executive Board Members for a session with me on the 18th of June to clear up matters in the interest of unity at this crucial stage of our preparations for the Southeast Asian Games,” said Vargas in a statement. 

On behalf of the “majority of the POC board,” auditor Jonne Go wrote a letter to Vargas raising a concern that secretary-general Patrick Gregorio did not attach the agenda of the June 17 board meeting.

Vargas had wanted Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) chairman Alan Peter Cayetano to preside over the now-canceled meeting, which was scheduled to be held after the PHISGOC-NSA meeting, as he is under fire from the members of his own board. 

It was set at the SM Aura office of Cayetano.

Go added that Gregorio did not send a formal notice of a regular board meeting for the month of June, so 8 of 13 board members agreed to meet on June 18, 10am at the POC office. 

Last May 27, Vargas accused majority of the board – including Go – of “destabilizing” the POC after he fired former president Peping Cojuangco, vice president Joey Romasanta and former SEA Games chef de mission Monsour del Rosario from their appointive positions. (POC in chaos: Vargas fires Cojuangco, other officials from posts)

Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman William “Butch” Ramirez eventually accepted Vargas’ offer to become del Rosario’s replacement as Team Philippines’ chef de mission to the 2019 SEA Games.

The agenda

Among the issues to be tackled is the existence of the PHISGOC Foundation, which is not the organizing body approved by the POC board.

Its Articles of Incorporation at the Securities and Exchange Commission on July 2, 2018, shows Vargas as one of the 8 incorporators together with POC secretary general Patrick Gregorio, POC communications director Ed Picson and former POC chairman Tom Carrasco.

Also to be discussed is the contract with Asics, an apparel company that PHISGOC tapped to serve as official outfitter of Team Philippines without the approval of the POC board.

It was found out that the quoted price of Asics for a set of competition uniform is “unreasonably” higher than the suggested retail prices in the company’s flagship store.

In a request made by PHISGOC Foundation to the Philippine Sports Commission, it shows that a set of competition uniform costs P51,5111 while the company’s quotation for the same item during the 18th Asian Games last year was only P25,000.

“We’re not calling for an election or declaring any vacancy. All we want is for the POC president to come forward to tell us the truth and discuss how we can help him,” said Aranas, the archery president and general manager of the Government Service Insurance System, during a press briefing late Friday, June 14. 

“All his actions were done without board approval. That’s why we’re asking. If you’re talking about good governance, now is the perfect chance for Mr. Vargas to come up with an explanation.”

Aranas added that they do not intend to engage in a media war with the POC chief.

“Like any corporation, board members have the right to question the president if he does something without their approval. This is a matter purely internal to the POC and must be resolved in an executive session with majority of board members in attendance.”

“Let me clarify that there is no power grab here. We want him to stay and finish his term. But in the spirit of good governance, we’re asking him what’s happening. It is normal for the president of any corporation to report to the members of the board.” – Rappler.com





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Beatrice Go

More commonly known as Bee, Beatrice Go is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Philippine sports governance, national teams, football, and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.