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Vargas calls for pre-Olympic POC election

Ricky Vargas called for a snap POC election this January. Dennis Acosta (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—In what could be an unprecedented move, the general election of the Philippine Olympic Committee could take place before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Traditionally, the POC election happens right after a Summer Olympiad.

But on Monday, POC president Ricky Vargas called for the election to take place just after the Philippines' hosting of the Southeast Asian Games later this year.

"In January of 2020, right after the SEA Games, let us hold early POC elections for all elective positions," said Vargas.

He then vowed that he will "campaign hard for deserving candidates who will fight for reforms and good governance in POC."

The move stemmed from what Vargas believes is an ugly approach to disagreements within the group.

"The culture in the POC has been so corrupted and tainted that disagreements are conducted in disagreeable and disgusting ways such as secret meetings, plotting, and scheming complete with black propaganda," he added.

A particular secret meeting that Vargas cited was a special board meeting that took place without his consent.

The meeting led to a certain letter given to him where he claimed he was given a five-day period to answer the queries of the people present in it as if they are in charge and not him.

"I am offended by it. I was insulted, vilified, and demeaned through insinuation, innuendo, and downright misrepresentation of facts," Vargas continued.

Among the members who were said to be present in the said meeting were former POC president Peping Cojuangco and current first vice president Joey Romasanta.

Vargas fired Cojuangco as the chairman of the POC constitutional amendments committee and Romasanta as the chef de mission for the Philippine team to next year's Olympiad.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno