Vargas’ lawyers ask court to direct POC to hold polls
LAWYERS for Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines President Ricky Vargas Friday filed a motion before Judge Maria Gracia Cadiz-Casaclang of the Pasig Regional Trial Court Branch 155 asking it to direct the Executive Board of the Philippine Olympic Committee to conduct Special Elections for the positions of president and chairman on Feb. 23.
Vargas and Rep. Abraham Tolentino of Cycling, filed their candidacies for president and chairman, respectively, for the 2016 POC elections but were disqualified by the POC Comelec composed of chairman Frank Elizalde and members Bro. Bernard Oca andCong. Conrado Estrella III.
This allowed then incumbent president Jose “Peping”Cojuangco Jr. to run for re-election unopposed. The position of chairman had no other candidate.
Vargas and Tolentino filed and won a decision from the same court dated December 1 declaring the election held on Nov. 25, 2016 null and void.
Judge Cadiz-Casaclang said the interpretation of the term “active member,” a requirement for candidates by the POC Committee on Elections, was erroneous and that the said committee had no right to interpret the by-laws in the first place.
Lawyers from the Angara, Abello, Concepcion, Regala and Cruz Law Firm, representing Vargas, also said that since the initial order of the judge was immediately executory, there was nothing else to do for the POC but conduct elections on Feb. 23 for the positions of president and chairman only.
ACCRA lawyer George SD. Aquino said “we requested the court to already direct the POC executive board and the election committee to do all necessary acts to effect the election. We believe this is a ministerial act of said POC committee to follow a court order and we are confident said elections will be held forthwith.”
The POC board announced Wednesday that they will appeal the original decision before the Court of Appeals, but Vargas’ lawyers said the decision is still “immediately executory” even if such an appeal is filed.