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UTG dismayed at PHILTA elections

By Ivan Saldajeno

LOS BAÑOS—The Unified Tennis Group expressed its disappointment at the recent PHILTA elections.

The Jean Henri Lhuillier-led organization opted not to participate in the said voting process owing to many irregularities.

“We did not participate in the recent election because it violated several rules in conducting an election,” said Lhuillier.

This is the third straight time the UTG protested the PHILTA elections.

The UTG first snubbed a snap election last July declaring Salvador Andrada president, replacing Parañaque mayor Edwin Olivarez, whose resignation was nullified by the POC, before exercising its right to not join the elections last February, in which Andrada was reelected the national tennis association's head.

This time around, Tony Cabiltas, who only became a member of the PHILTA board last April, was named the new president. Like the previous two elections, the POC did not recognize the latest elections.

“We’re just elated that even the Philippine Olympic Committee did not participate and are not recognizing the results of it,” Lhuillier continued.

“We have strongly questioned the timing and the manner of appointment of Atty. Cablitas as Mr. Ortiz’s replacement. It happened too quickly and just a few weeks prior to the elections. Our main question here is, how can Atty. Cablitas run and what is his program for Philippine tennis?” added PHILTA vice president Randy Villanueva

Adding to the irregularities of the recent PHILTA elections was that Secretary General Romeo Magat called for the elections and not Olivarez.

“The fact that even the incumbent president did not participate in the recent elections just shows what a mockery it was,” said PHILTA Board Member Gerard Maronilla.

Olivarez, according to Lhuillier, called for the postponement of the said elections so that PHILTA can resolve all the issues surrounding it, but Magat defied it and pushed through with the elections despite having a gentleman's agreement with POC and ITF through President David Haggetry that PHILTA will hold it in a proper manner.

"It was agreed that the presidential aspirants must present sound programs and plans for the development of tennis in the Philippines. Tennis in the Philippines has been suffering for far too long and the Philippine tennis community deserves someone better to handle it,” Villanueva further said.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno
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