Cynthia Carrion and Ricky Vargas

Cynthia Carrion slams politics, bats for new POC polls
Joaquin M. Henson (The Philippine Star) - January 3, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — POC board member and Gymnastics Association of the Philippines (GAP) president Cynthia Carrion said yesterday it will be a bad omen for 2018 if certain quarters resort to legal action in stalling the recent Pasig Regional Trial Court decision to hold new elections for chairman and president on Feb. 23.

“Let democracy prevail,” said Carrion. “The court has ruled for new elections. I was elected board member in the 2016 elections but I’m willing to resign if everyone else does. I realize the court ordered new elections only for chairman and president. I expect some people to try to get a TRO to delay the implementation of the order. In my opinion, let’s do the right thing, hold new elections and get it over with. Who knows? (POC president) Peping (Cojuangco) might still win.”

In the 2016 polls, the POC COMELEC disqualified ABAP president Ricky Vargas as a candidate for president and cycling president Rep. Bambol Tolentino as a candidate for chairman. As a result, Cojuangco ran unopposed and won a fourth consecutive term as POC president. The position of chairman was declared vacant because there was no qualified candidate. Aside from Tolentino, the other candidate for chairman Tom Carrasco was disqualified as the rules stipulate only an NSA president is eligible. Carrasco used to be triathlon president but is now secretary-general.

Carrion insisted the court order doesn’t constitute government intervention. “I was recently in Lausanne for a conference on women in sport and I was told the IOC will not interfere in NOC matters that uphold the democratic process,” she said. “Holding new elections on the basis of a court order is not grounds for suspension by the IOC. Besides, the POC was part of the process where the court held hearings before making a decision. So it submitted itself to the jurisdiction of the court.”

Carrion said if elections are set on Feb. 23, the POC should form a COMELEC soon to supervise the polls. “There should be a definite campaign period and candidates should present themselves before the voters in an open forum,” she said.

Carrion said when she took over the GAP four years ago, it was like starting from scratch. “We had no coaches, no international judges,” she said. “But slowly, we got on our feet. Today, we’ve got an outstanding Japanese coach Munehiro Kugimiya and five international judges. Both the FIG (Federation Internacionale de Gymnatique) and the Asian Gymnastics Union are supportive of our efforts to promote the sport and develop Class A athletes. At the 2014 Asian Games, we didn’t win a single medal. But now, we’re ready to compete and bring home medals. Before the Asian Games, we plan to send our top gymnasts to international competitions in Melbourne and Doha.”

Carrion said the Philippines will be bannered by Carlo Yulo, 17, Kaitlin de Guzman, 18 and Reyland Cappelan, 34, at the coming Asian Games in Indonesia. Yulo won the gold in vault and silver in floor at the International Junior Gymnastics competition in Yokohama last September. He couldn’t participate in the SEA Games because he was under-age. But for the Asian Games, Yulo will be 18 and eligible to compete. Cappelan bagged the gold in floor in the last two SEA Games while De Guzman took the gold in uneven bars, silver in floor and bronze in balance beam at the SEA Games last year.

“We’re trying to raise $20,000 to pay for Carlo’s tuition for a year at Teikyo University,” said Carrion. “He’ll get top training in gymnastics at Teikyo. We’ll also need a tutor for Carlo to learn how to speak Nihonggo so he’s able to communicate with his Japanese teachers once we firm up arrangements for his scholarship.”

  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?
Login is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with