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Monday, September 16, 2019
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Limpag: IOC steps in on POC mess

LAST week, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) sent a letter to the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) expressing its concerns regarding latest developments in the local Olympic body.

That was after Ricky Vargas tendered his resignation, a move which surprised almost everyone in Philippine sports. A move, too, that reached the IOC unofficially. In the letter, the IOC asked the POC who resigned and to forward to the international body the resignation letter. It also wanted to know what steps the POC was taking.

The IOC also ordered the POC to convene a general assembly so it could address the resignation and to follow the rules and bylaws of the POC when it came to resignation.

Now, here is where it gets interesting.

Vargas’s resignation left Joey Romasanta of the Peping Cojuangco faction in charge. But based on the bylaws of the POC, Romasanta, the vice president of the Larong Volleyball ng Pilipinas, is not eligible to run for president since only an NSA president can run.

And knowing how the powers that be in the POC can bend the rules, the IOC reminded the POC that the general assembly should be the policy-making body to decide on this one. For me, that shows the IOC is aware of what the Cojuangco faction did when his allies in the election committee disqualified Vargas from running for his failure to attend POC meetings. That Ed Picson, the boxing body’s gen sec represented the body, didn’t matter to them. They looked for and found a way to disqualify Vargas.

It’s a good thing the courts decided on Vargas and he won, ending Peping Cojuangco’s 12-year reign in the POC. Or so we thought. He never left and boxed in his every move. Vargas left the POC two years after winning the election.

And now, two years later, here we are again, talking of another election. There has to be one, unless the current POC leaders want to earn the ire of the international body and ignore its letter.

Who could be the perfect replacement for Vargas? Someone young and new? I don’t know.

I hope the new POC leader can survive the muck that is sports politics, which can be so dirty that in previous elections, vote-buying was done in the open according to those who covered the activity.


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