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Vargas argues case before POC election committee

Vargas Pacquiao Boxing

Boxing president Ricky Vargas has asked the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) election panel to give democracy a chance by reversing its earlier decision to disqualify him to run against incumbent POC president Jose “Peping” Cojuangco.

Vargas met with the three-man panel, headed by former International Olympic Committee (IOC) representative Frank Elizalde, yesterday at the UCC Café in Capitol Commons, Pasig City.

“They give us the chance to go through the process, if the rule is vague, go for the common good, and the common good is to allow a democracy, to allow a democratic process, to allow the election,” Vargas said after emerging from the 30-minute meeting. “It is vague and not written in the by-laws, then you allow and correct it in the future.”

The panel, which includes La Salle-Zobel president Bro. Bernie Oca and Rep. Conrado Estrella III, is expected to come out with a decision today.

The committee based its earlier decision on Article 7, Section 11 of the POC Constitution and Bylaws, which states that a candidate for POC president and chairman should be an “active member of the POC General Assembly” for two consecutive years.

According to Elizalde, a candidate for the said positions should have attended 50 percent plus one of the total numbers of GAs the past two years that is held every two months.

Vargas, who attended the GA just once, said the meaning of active participation was discussed.

“In the end there were a lot of discussions of what active meant, the definition, they say active as participating,” said Vargas.

“They admitted that it’s their interpretation (active member),” said Vargas.

Jake Corporal, one of Vargas’ counsels, said that the ‘active member’ issue isn’t clear.

“The more important thing is what are the rules of the game are we playing,” said Corporal.

“It all boils down on their interpretation of active membership. What was significant in the hearing today, the committee appears to have admitted that they tried to define what that phrase meant, but they tried to define it among themselves, among the committee members.”

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