Olympic body reminds POC to follow 'due process' for elections

MANILA, Philippines – The International Olympic Committee (IOC) handed down guidelines to the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) in order to resolve its issues quicker and organize a special elections. 

"We all agree that these issues must be addressed and resolved quickly, but not in a hurry as due process must be followed," the IOC said in a letter signed by director for Olympic Solidarity and National Olympic Committee (NOC) Relations James Macleod and Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) director general Hussain al-Musallam.

"It must be noted that that the POC has had many opportunities to resolve these issues internally and peacefully, however, has not managed to do so until now. Under these circumstances, the IOC and OCA have the duty to offer guidance and assistance to resolve the situation in the interest of the Olympic movement."

After recognizing the resignations of former POC president Ricky Vargas and board members Bambol Tolentino, Clint Aranas and Cynthia Carrion, the IOC gave specific dates for a required special meeting of the executive board and two extraordinary general assemblies. 

The POC executive board will be forced to convene no later than Monday, July 8, where the members will have to discuss and review IOC directives. 

Instead of pushing for the elections to happen on July 18, the POC board will need to call for an extraordinary general assembly in order to form the election commission.

According to the IOC, this is still fully compliant to the prescribed 30-day period after Ricky Vargas' resignation from the POC president post. (2019 SEA Games: After POC shakeup, what now?)

This will also nullify the elections commission formed by former POC chairman Tolentino, which was composed of former POC Commission on Elections (COMELEC) commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal, jiu-jitsu secretary general Ferdie Agustin and POC general counsel Alberto Agra.

The second extraordinary general assembly scheduled on July 28 is expected to be the date of the special elections. 

The IOC and the OCA will send representatives to ensure the orderly conduct of both the elections and the extraordinary general assembly meetings.

'Stick to your word' 

Former POC chairman Tolentino called board members, who announced their resignations last June 25, to stick to their word of vacating their positions. 

"I call on all of them to honor their word which they gave in front of the POC general assembly members last June 25 (In attendance then were 37 of 42 Regular Members,6 of 12 Associate and 2 of 10 Recognized Members)," Tolentino said in a statement.

"And to those who were not present, I also urge them to heed the members call." 

The cycling association chief also reminded the majority of the board members that several national sports associations are in favor of the elections and the revamp of the entire POC board. 

"It was apparent what the majority of the GA members wanted. They were tired of all the infighting and bickering, and at the instance of fencing president Mayor Richard Gomez, asked for the resignation of all POC board members," added the Tagaytay congressman.

"I spearheaded the offer to resign during that meeting and it was followed by BM Clint Aranas, BM Cynthia Carrion, auditor Jonee Go, treasurer Julian Camacho and after a protracted pause, first vice president Joey Romasanta" 

Tolentino, though, agreed that the POC should follow the directive of the IOC and the OCA in coping with the leadership shakeup as the country's hosting of the 30th Southeast Asian Games is set to happen in less than 5 months. (TIMELINE: Will the POC feud affect PH's SEA Games hosting?)

Tolentino is slated to run against Aranas as POC president. – 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.