A review of the technical handbook and the ongoing preparations for the 30th Southeast Asian Games were supposed to take place.
Instead, Philippine Olympic Committee Chairman Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino declared the POC Extraordinary General Assembly at the GSIS gymnasium as invalid as he sought an election within 10 days.
The vacant posts will be filled up in elections expected to happen on July 5.
Following the two-hour meeting behind closed doors, POC President Joey Romasanta said he is vacating his post to give way to new elections.
“Medyo mahaba ang process. Honestly, I don’t know if we can do it in 10 days if you are to comply with the procedures,” said Romasanta, who gave up his post as president, along with the positions held by POC spokesman Clint Aranas and other members of the board.
Tolentino said he did not want to be part of an invalid meeting, which was the reason why the gathering was immediately terminated. He reasoned out that the Chairman had the power to call for new elections when key positions in the POC, like the presidency, are left vacant. Tolentino also added that only a president of a national sports association is qualified to become president.
Romasanta is vice president of volleyball.
Legal counsel Charlie Ho explained that the present members of the executive board composed of Tolentino, Jonee Go, Aranas, Julian Camacho, Mikee Cojuangco and Cynthia Carrion will run the organization in a holdover capacity.
Absentees like Prospero Pichay, Robert Mananquil and Jeff Tamayo will still have to tender their resignations.
“This is something I should have done a long time ago. They need fresh faces, new ideas in the POC. We have a divided General Assembly. Hopefully, the next generation, the new set of officers will be able to address this immediately, and change the image of the POC. The POC, as it is, is a damaged organization,” said Romasanta.
The new shakeup comes two weeks following the resignation of Ricky Vargas as president of the POC, with Romasanta, as VP, assuming his post.
Vargas’ resignation came after the executive board sought questions and clarifications on the ad hoc committee and the PHISGOC (Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee) Foundation he formed thereafter.
There were allegations that the Foundation took over some of the functions of the POC and made some crucial decisions like the creation of the official SEA Games logo, mascot and other marketing collaterals.
All of these were said to have been done without the blessing of the POC executive board.
With Romasanta stepping down, Tolentino will now be the one who will communicate with PHISGOC Chairman Congressman-elect Alan Peter Cayetano in the coming days to help map out preparations for the SEA Games.
Their meeting was supposed to take place over the last four days.
But Cayetano was still in Bangkok, attending a meeting of the leaders’ summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.