Header Ads Widget

POC election pushes through as Vargas' TRO plea junked

Peping Cojuangco is running unopposed after Ricky Vargas'
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--There could be no stopping Peping Cojuangco from claiming a fourth term as POC president.

On Thursday, the Pasig City RTC dismissed the motion for a TRO filed by the camp of ABAP president Ricky Vargas that would have postponed the election set for Friday at the Wack-Wack Golf and Country Club in Mandaluyong.

Vargas was disqualified from challenging Cojuangco for the Olympic committee's top post as he was declared "non-active".

The POC's ruling for those aiming for electoral spots says that they should be "active", that is, they should be present in at least majority of the general assemblies set during a two-year period. Vargas, despite being very active in leading the boxing association, only attended one general assembly in the past two years.

Vargas slammed the said rule, calling it "vague" and eventually taking the disqualification matter to the judiciary.

Vargas' running mate, Cong. Bambol Tolentino, was also affected by the active member rule as he, despite also going hands-on as PhilCycling chief, was also present in only one POC general assembly within two years, disqualifying him as candidate for chairman.

In a statement, Vargas' legal counsel, former PBA commissioner Chito Salud, said, "The court's denial of our application for restraining order is of course most disappointing. It would have opened up much needed space and possibilities for a winning approach to this whole saga. A TRO would have allowed all of us to step back, to agree and focus on finding solutions based on a singular criterion, namely what action would best serve our athletes' overall welfare. If we were able to come together on that basis, we were confident that we wouldn't need to go back to the courts to help us answer that question. Mr. Vargas and Cong. Tolentino were driven by a sincere desire to provide an alternative approach to improving our sports program. They commit to continue their quest to empower our athletes and uplift Philippine sports."

However, despite running unopposed anew, Cojuangco must still get a majority vote on Friday for him to stay as the POC head.

Cojuangco's third term was marred by a recent expose revealing a huge amount of money coming from the PSC that was unliquidated, prompting the Senate Committee on Sports led by Manny Pacquiao to open a probe on the said matter. A hearing, which was supposed to take place this week, was rescheduled for Tuesday.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno