Cojuangco vows to be still an active POC member
A DAY after losing the Philippine Olympic Committee presidency to boxing chief Victorico “Ricky” Vargas, Jose “Peping” Cojuangco Jr. is back on his feet.
Cojuangco, who heads the national sports association for equestrian, said he has already accepted the results of Friday’s polls, which installed Vargas as the 10th president of the POC, and Tagaytay Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino as chairman.
“For me, the majority has spoken” said the 83-year-old Cojuangco, who wore a yellow-checkered shirt and gray slacks when he spoke to scribes inside his home in Dasmarinas Village, Makati City on Saturday.
Among the first things in Cojuangco's bucket list of activities after giving way to Vargas is play golf with senior citizen friends every Saturday at the Wack Wack Golf and Country Club in Mandaluyong, and the improvement of the condition of athletes going to international competitions.
Aside from looking for farmland he intends to transform into a sugar cane field in Mindanao, turning over his responsibilities in the Asian Games and the 2019 Southeast Asian Games are among the other responsibilities he plans to pursue.
So far, he is relieved that Vargas is respecting his administration’s decision to appoint Julian Camacho as chef de mission of the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia.
As for the SEA Games, Cojuangco will turn over his function as SEA Games Federation Council Chairman to Vargas, and the responsibility of appointing the Philippine delegation chef de mission.
He said the function of the national delegation chef de mission to the SEA Games is temporarily in the hands of Makati Congressman Monsour del Rosario.
After the polls, Cojuangco said the first thing on his mind was how the court decided on the lawsuit that the Vargas camp filed against the POC and election committee in 2016 which initially disqualified them from running.
“It was my concern since the beginning. How far can the courts go? Alam niyo naman ang courts natin. I don’t think I can accept one person can decide and interpret the meaning of the provisions of the constitution and bylaws. But if that’s the Supreme Court, puwede,” said Cojuangco.
He said the POC is obliged by the International Olympic Committee to defend its autonomy and should not succumb to the pressures of religion, monetary considerations and politics.
“I made sure that the POC will not be charged for neglecting to do that,” added Cojuangco.
The General Assembly gave Vargas 24 votes, while Cojuangco received 15.
On the other hand, Tolentino, who heads PhilCycling, got 23 votes, beating his opponent Ting Ledesma of table tennis.
Vargas, who will serve the remainder of Cojuangco’s term, has now successfully followed in the footsteps of his grandfather Jorge B. Vargas, who was the second president of the Philippine Amateur Athletic Federation from 1936 to 1955.
It was a double celebration for Vargas, who turned 66 on Saturday, and for Tolentino, who turned 53 on Friday, the day of the election.
As equestrian chief, Cojuangco said he will be ready to attend all the meetings of the POC under the Vargas administration, and be an “active member.”
“Yes. Maski naman nu'ng araw pa when I was president of bowling. Yes. I will attend,” added Cojuangco.