By NICK GIONGCO
Sports leaders vying in the Philippine Olympic Committee elections on Nov. 26 have until this noon to file their candidacies at the POC headquarters in Pasig City.
Candidates have to be physically present and the three-man election panel headed by Frank Elizalde, formerly the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Representative to the Philippines, will soon decide if a candidate is eligible to run.
Incumbent POC president Jose ‘Peping’ Cojuangco is gunning for a fourth term and his stranglehold is being challenged by boxing chief Ricky Vargas.
But Vargas faces a big problem in the eyes of Elizalde, Rep. Conrado Estrella and Fr. Bernie Oca of La Salle regarding his being an active member of the POC General Assembly that he has snubbed repeatedly.
This year, Vargas skipped the GAs that are held bi-monthly, although executive director Ed Picson has been consistently in attendance to represent boxing.
Elizalde said a decision on the eligibility of Vargas and other aspirants will be known within days, stressing that the POC bylaws are very clear regarding those who can and cannot run.
Vargas’ bid is being backed by football’s Nonong Araneta and cycling’s Bambol Tolentino and other anti-Cojuangco leaders.
Other positions that are going to be disputed are those of the chairman, 1st VP, 2nd VP, treasurer and auditor.
Joey Romasanta of volleyball, the incumbent 1st VP, will likely be challenged by Tolentino, while the likes of Tom Carrasco (chairman), Jeff Tamayo (2nd VP), Julian Camacho (treasurer) and Jonee Go (auditor) are also in the running.