Tolentino reelected as Philippine Olympic chief
Bambol Tolentino

Tolentino reelected as Philippine Olympic chief

Joey Villar ( - November 27, 2020 - 5:17pm

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine Olympic Committee Abraham Tolentino on Friday received a fresh four-year mandate as president and vowed unity and to rally behind the national team seeking nothing less than the country’s first Olympic gold medal in Tokyo next year.

“We have a lot of challenges next year, a lot of big competitions outside especially the Tokyo Olympics, this might be our first ever gold and we have to focus on that,” said Tolentino, who beat archery’s Clint Aranas, 30-22.

“There is so much work to be done and the training of our athletes was delayed. But with the help of this new team, starting January 1, definitely there will be a lot of changes and surprises,” he added.

Of the 10 elective posts, all but two went to officials who ran under Tolentino’s ticket.

Basketball’s Al Panlilio was elected first vice president over athletics’ Philip Ella Juico, 30-23, fencing and modern pentathlon’s Richard Gomez as second VP over independent Ada Milby, 31-22, gymnastics’ Cynthia Carrion-Norton as treasurer over wushu’s Julian Camacho, 27-22, baseball’s Chito Loyzaga as auditor over weightlifting’s Monico Puentevella, 27-24, and surfing’s Dr. Jose Raul Canlas (36), muay’s Pearl Managuelod (31) and judo’s Dave Carter (27) as board members.

Handball’s Steve Hontiveros, who won his second term as chairman over triathlon’s Tom Carrasco, 28-25, and netball’s Charlie Ho, who placed third among board members with 28 votes, were the only two officials from the Aranas party who made it.

Tolentino said there would be a lot of changes and surprises not just for the national athletes but Philippine sports as well.

“Definitely there will be lots of suprises. We’ve shown a lot in just more than a year, what more with these four years to come with this team,” he said.

For Panlilio, he said he will focus on athletes.

“I said it before, I’m really just here to serve our athletes. Hopefully, we could work together, govern and be accountable to our athletes. We’re here to serve, and not to be served,” he said.

Ho promised to give his full support despite being part of the other group.

“First order of the day is for the POC to be united. I will make it a personal mission to unite all the POC because we have to set examples to our athletes and coaches and be a good leader,” said Ho.

A total of 53 of the total 54 voting members exercised their right to suffrage including Rio 2016 silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz, who cast her vote via a sealed ballot or courier.

There was an issue with the Philippine Badminton Association as to who between former Vice President and former Congressman Albee Benitez should vote but the former relented in the end and authorized secretary-general Christopher Quimpo to vote in the association’s behalf.

Senator Francis Tolentino, Bambol’s brother, and commissioner Ramon Fernandez, who represented the Philippine Sports Commission, were present to observe the polling.

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