The coming elections of the Philippine Olympic Committee cannot be postponed.
POC president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino said this upon learning of the objections raised by Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas president Monico Puentevella.
Puentevella said he is worried about the health and safety of members of the General Assembly, who will come to Metro Manila to vote on Nov. 27. Because of this, he will ask for a rescheduling of the elections during an online meeting of the GA on Wednesday.
But amendments to the constitution and bylaws of the POC will have to be made first before any cancellation of the polls can happen and changes in the charter can only be approved after the Nov. 27 polls, explained Tolentino.
“Monico asked that the election be postponed, hindi naman ganu’n ang procedure, you have to amend the constitution,” said Tolentino, who heads the Integrated Cycling Federation of the Philippines or PhilCycling.
Tolentino, who is the congressman representing the 8th district of Cavite (Tagaytay), explained that the executive board has already entered into a “gentleman’s agreement” that they will ratify changes to the POC charter after the polls.
By the time the elections come, parts of the country would have been under a Modified General Community Quarantine already, and more people would have been allowed to join gatherings by then.
“Kahit ma-extend pa GCQ (General Community Quarantine), by that time MGCQ na, wala ng time to approve it, hindi pa natin alam procedure na ilalatag ng comelec, baka blended,” added Tolentino.
Since the lockdowns were imposed last March, many heads of national sports association have been in their respective provinces.
And Puentevella fears that the officials may not be able to attend the elections in the final week of November because flights or travel to Metro Manila may still be restricted.
And it may not also be safe for the heads of 50 NSAs to travel as well, since most of them are senior citizens, according to Puentevella.
Triathlon chief Tom Carrasco is once again seeking the chairmanship of the POC, under Tolentino’s ticket.
Tolentino, who is going for the presidency, will also have Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Al Panlilio and Ormoc City mayor Richard Gomez in his group.
Panlilio, who is the president of Smart Communications and chief revenue officer of PLDT, is going after the post of first vice president, while Gomez, who is the president of the fencing and the modern pentathlon federation, is running for the second vice president post.
Gymnastics’ head Cynthia Carrion, another old hand, will run for treasurer, along with baseball’s Chito Loyzaga as auditor, while named in Tolentino’s list of board members are muay secretary general Pearl Managuelod, judo’s Dave Carter and surfing’s Dr. Raul Canlas.
House Deputy Speaker and Surigao Rep. (first district) Prospero Pichay Jr., who is president of National Chess Federation of the Philippines, has also joined Tolentino’s lineup for board member.
Archery chief Clint Aranas, a lawyer who used to be the president of the Government Service Insurance System, will challenge Tolentino’s bid for the presidency.
Joining Aranas are POC chairman Steve Hontiveros of handball and former Philippine Sports Commission chairman Philip Ella Juico of athletics.
Hontiveros will again seek the chairmanship, while Juico bids for the first vice president spot.
The filing of the certificate of candidacy will be from Oct. 1 to 30 and, with the campaign period set to start on Nov. 1.
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