POC leaders step down, set polls on July 5
Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) - June 26, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — In the wake of controversies and squabbling within the organization, the Philippine Olympic Committee leadership led by Joey Romasanta agreed in principle to voluntarily give up their positions and set special elections “to get a fresh mandate.”

The decision was made during an informal meeting of the POC body yesterday at GSIS, where Romasanta, the first vice president who succeeded resigned president Ricky Vargas, verbally committed to step down, along with chairman Bambol Tolentino, and board member Clint Aranas, to pave the way for new polls set July 5.

“After discussion and debate, one of the members said why don’t you all resign and declare all positions vacant and let’s have an election. I agreed, I then asked each of the board member and they also agreed,” said Tolentino.

He claimed treasurer Julian Camacho, auditor Jonne Go and board member Cynthia Carrion did the same.

Three were absent – second VP Jeff Tamayo, and board members Robert Mananquil and Butch Pichay – and Tolentino said it’s up to them if they will resign, too. 

“We’re doing this out of delicadeza. We need a fresh mandate so the NSAs can choose their leaders,” said Aranas.

Romasanta said he has no intention to run for the POC’s top post.

“This is something I also felt should be done long ago, I said we need fresh faces, new ideas in the POC. We can’t go like this forever. Very clearly we had a very divided POC and I hope the next set of officers will be able to address all these and change the image of the POC,” said Romasanta.

“The POC, as it is, is already a damaged institution, that’s why we have to take a drastic measure for us to be able to correct things and provide a better image of the POC. It’s not about us, it’s about the institution,” he added.

With a fourth president in the current Olympic cycle looming, Romasanta expressed fear this might give a wrong impression to the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

“We’d like to address the IOC in a manner this should not be viewed as a shaky or unstable POC. We have done this for us to be stronger and correct matters as they are,” he said.

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