MANILA, Philippines - Salvador “Buddy” Andrada yesterday formally resigned as president of the Philippine Tennis Association (Philta) in the hope of keeping the sport on track and salvaging unity among its major stakeholders.
Andrada provided The STAR a copy of his resignation letter, which the retired colonel in the Armed Forces of the Philippines submitted to the Philta board of trustees yesterday.
The 80-year-old Andrada, who joined Philta in the aftermath of the 1986 Edsa Revolution and served as president for over two decades, said his resignation is immediate and irrevocable.
“I will no longer seek the presidency,” he said.
With the Philta presidency now vacant, vice president and secretary-general Romeo Magat will have to call for an election within 30 days.
Andrada said only the position of president will be at stake in the elections. The other officers who were elected last July 29, 2016 will keep their posts until 2019.
“Once the elections are called, any member of the Philta board of trustees can run as president,” said the old man of Philippine tennis.
There are 12 members of the board, including Jean Henri Lhuillier of Cebuana Lhuillier, who had contested Andrada’s re-election and led to his pullout as the biggest supporter of Philippine tennis.
Another major sponsor of tennis tournaments in the country, Palawan Pawnshop CEO Bobby Castro, is on the same page with Lhuillier.
The two pawnshop magnates said they are disassociating themselves with Philta but will continue to support Philippine tennis.
Andrada told The STAR in an exclusive interview yesterday he has no personal differences with anyone within the local tennis community.
Lhuillier had expressed his interest to seek the Philta presidency. With the vacancy in the top post, he can proceed with his original plans.
“I think Jean Henri can be a good president for Philippine tennis. If given the privilege, I will be the one to nominate him for president,” said Andrada.
A meeting among Andrada, Lhuillier, Magat and former Philta chief and Parañaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez is set Sunday at Solaire Hotel.
“I’m hoping for a very fruitful meeting,” said Andrada.
Andrada could not confirm whether any other member of the Philta board of trustees is interested in the presidency other than Lhuillier.
“It now boils down to Mr. Lhuillier,” said Andrada, the only Filipino ever to be elected president of the Asian Tennis Federation (ATF) but had to quit in 2003 due to health reasons.
“I take pride in that, being the only Filipino to head the ATF,” said Andrada, who now serves the regional tennis body as honorary lifetime president.
“I would like to thank everyone, the board, coaches, athletes and staff… I have always relied on throughout all the years of my (Philta) administration. I am very grateful. These wonderful memories will forever be treasured as I move on, embarking on a journey more important, at this point in my life,” said Andrada in his short resignation letter dated Feb. 17, 2017.