Ricky Vargas
Vargas steps down as POC top honcho
Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) - June 19, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine Olympic Committee president Ricky Vargas yesterday stepped down from his post but promised to continue supporting sports in a different capacity.

Vargas, who was elected to the presidency in February 2018, tendered his “irrevocable resignation” in a meeting called by majority of the board, explaining that “corporate responsibilities and family sentiments” played a big role in his decision.

“After much introspection, I have determined that there would be other sports leaders who would have the time and inclination needed to lead the POC more effectively,” said Vargas in his resignation letter.

Vargas quit after 16 months at the helm of the Olympic body, making the surprise move amid what he described as “politicking” and efforts by majority of the board to “grab power.”

The boxing chief had even proposed to hold the POC elections earlier-than-usual in January 2020 so that all parties can focus first on the country’s hosting of the Southeast Asian Games in November.

Per POC charter, first vice president Joey Romasanta took over as POC chief.

Vargas said he has instructed secretary general Patrick Gregorio to assist in a “smooth transition” with his successor.

“I ask for the understanding of all concerned, most especially the athletes and NSAs (national sports associations) who have supported my initiatives in the organization,” he said.

“Rest assured, I will continue to support Philippine sports in my private capacity, particularly as official of the MVP Sports Foundation and as president of ABAP (boxing federation),” he added.

Romasanta said they respected Vargas’ decision, which he revealed to the board during the session.

“Marami naman siyang sinagot sa mga tinatanong namin so it’s unfortunate and I’d like to say thank you to Mr. Vargas and at the same time congratulate him for all the things that he has done during his tenure,” Romasanta said.

RICKY VARGAS
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