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Tolentino focuses on PH Olympic preparations in POC reelection bid

Incumbent Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Abraham "Bambol" Tolentino dismissed the election controversy he experienced and decided to focus on the athletes' preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

"My first move is to reach out to all national sports associations and to unite sports, and forget the politics and move and focus especially [on] the Tokyo Olympics and aim for the first ever gold of the country," said Tolentino on Tuesday, November 24, in the weekly Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) forum.

The POC elections will be held on Friday, November 27.

With the recent dismissal of all protests against him, Tolentino's reelection is seen as a foregone conclusion.

He said his plans include lobbying for the resumption of training of all national athletes and not just the country's Oympic hopefuls.

Aside from the delayed quadrennial meet, Philippines will be participating in the Asian Indoor Martial Arts Games (AIMAG) in May, and will be defending its overall champion title in the 2021 Vietnam Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in November.

Prior to the regional biennial meet, the junior national athletes will also participate in the 2021 Asian Youth Games in Surabaya, Indonesia.

After the country's 2019 SEA Games success, Tolentino also revealed that he made an offer to the Southeast Asian Games Federation that the Philippines can become the back-up host of the Brunei SEAG in 2027 or Laos in 2029.

"Alinman sa dalawa na mag-back out, nauna ako mag-offer to the Southeast Asian Games Federation [na puwede tayo mag-host] in our meeting the other day. I was serious about that," added Tolentino.

(Whichever of the two countries back out, I was first to make an offer to the Southeast Asian Games Federation that we can host the games in our meeting the other day. I was serious about that. )

However, the POC would need to settle its 2019 SEA Games financial statements with the Philippine SEA Games organizing committee (Phisgoc). A 3rd party auditing firm is now going over the records.

"We can't close it yet, because the Philippine Sports Commission hasn't made its last payment," explained the Tagaytay representative.

For POC concerns, Tolentino said he would continue the ongoing constitutional amendments with the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The POC election committee denied all 5 disqualification protests filed by the group of presidential candidate Clint Aranas against Tolentino's party due to "lack of merit" on Sunday, November 22.

Aranas’s party sought to disqualify Tolentino, Cynthia Carrion and Tom Carrasco for receiving salaries as officials of the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) during the hosting of the 30th Southeast Asian Games last December.

The group also protested David Carter for his judo association’s suspended registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission, while Canlas allegedly didn’t complete terms rules as a national sports association top official. – Rappler.com

Beatrice Go

More commonly known as “Bee”, Beatrice is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Phillippine 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.

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