Jose Cojuangco or Ricky Vargas: It’s too close to call
Abac Cordero (The Philippine Star) - February 23, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Barring any major development, members of the General Assembly will cast their votes today to decide who gets to sit as POC president until 2020.

It’s a choice between Jose Cojuangco, POC chief since 2004, and Ricky Vargas, who is calling for change.

Also at stake in today’s elections is the vacant post of chairman to be contested by Rep. Abraham Tolentino of cycling and Ting Ledesma of table tennis.

It’s the second time in only 15 months that the POC, which has 43 voting members, will elect a president. In November 2016, Cojuangco ran unopposed and won a fourth term, a victory that was declared “null and void” by the Pasig City Regional Trial Court last December.

Again, fireworks are expected at Wack Wack in Mandaluyong, where the voting, by secret balloting, takes place at 1:30 in the afternoon. A Wack Wack official said there was a request for additional security, including uniformed policemen, in the venue.

It’s very hard to predict the outcome, and it may be too close to call. A hard-nosed radio reporter came up with an election survey, based on opinion, and had Vargas and Cojuangco tied at 18-18.

Vargas’ camp had claimed that they have the support of 27 NSAs (national sports officials). But whether or not it’s as good as 27 votes, more than enough to win the elections, will be known today.

By dusk, it will be decided whether Cojuangco stays on or Vargas takes over.

The General Assembly will decide.

All the other positions in the POC board stays, from first vice president (Jose Romasanta), second vice president (Col. Jeff Tamayo), treasurer (Julian Camacho), auditor (Jonne Go), and board members Cynthia Carrion, Robert Mananquil, Atty. Clint Aranas and Representative Prospero Pichay.

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