REP. Prospero Pichay yesterday said a new election is not possible in the Philippine Olympic Committee.
Speaking as a member of the POC executive board, Pichay said the court order for an election may not hold water because it’s not in accordance with the by-laws of the country’s highest governing body for sports.
A court decision penned by judge Maria Gracia Cadiz-Casaclang of Pasig RTC Branch 155 declared null and void the POC polls on Nov. 25, 2016 wherein Peping Cojuangco ran without opposition for his fourth consecutive term as POC president.
Pichay said they will contest the decision.
“We will make an appeal (to the court of appeals) and we will say the judge erred in making the decision because we conducted our elections in accordance with articles and incorporation (of the POC),” said Pichay, who added the case may drag on for years. “Punta din kami sa Supreme Court. By that time, it will be overtaken by events because mag-election na uli sa POC.”
Cojuangco’s term is four years in conjunction with Olympic cycle. The next POC election will be in 2020, just after Tokyo Olympics.
In the last election, Ricky Vargas of the Association of the Boxing Alliances of the Philippines, filed for candidacy against Cojuangco but he was disqualified by the election committee due to technicality, which is now the point of legal contention.
The camp of Vargas sought legal redress and won the initial battle when Casaclang handed the favorable decision last week ordering a new election on Feb. 23.
Braving possible contempt charges, Pichay said they will file the appeal before the said date.
“No need for TRO, appeal lang ‘yan,” said Pichay.
He said and other members of the POC executive council will meet on Jan. 17 to tackle their next move.
Some camps are in favor of a new election, including Squash chief Robert Bachmann, who said he will raise the issue during the general assembly on Jan. 31.
“Let’s proceed with the elections,” said Bachmann. “If Peping (Cojuangco) wins, then let’s unite under him.”