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POC very unstable – IOC

by Nick Giongco

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) had urged the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) to consult the IOC and the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) when making vital decisions relative to the leadership dispute affecting the POC’s inner circle.

“We request that the POC coordinate any further steps with the IOC and OCA to make sure that due process is followed, in accordance with the POC Constitution and Olympic Charter,” wrote James MacLeod, the IOC’s director for Olympic Solidarity and NOC Relations and Hussin Al-Musallam, Director General and Technical Director of the OCA in a letter sent to the POC Executive Board dated June 29.

The IOC told the POC to formally inform it about the resignation of key officials and to fill in the vacancy based on the POC bylaws and that it will be dispatching a representative to observe the elections during the Extraordinary GA of the POC.

So far, only Ricky Vargas and board members Clint Aranas and Cynthia Carrion have officially resigned based on the hard copy provided by them.

POC chairman Abraham ‘Bambol’ Tolentino has proposed that elections be held this Friday but that won’t happen since there are still major issues to be resolved, including the formation of an election panel that will review the rules and qualification of candidates.

Trouble began immediately after Vargas stepped down on June 17 when first vice-president Joey Romasanta took over by way of succession.

While Romasanta’s legitimacy is being questioned, the former Gintong Alay chief said there has to be somebody taking charge of the POC’s affairs while there is a vacancy.

The IOC letter also described the Philippine situation as “very unstable” that has presented a “negative impact on the Olympic movement as a whole in the Philippines” given that the next Olympics is taking place next year.

Romasanta said the IOC letter only shows that the Swiss-based Olympic group has not only taken notice of the current situation within the POC but is keeping a close watch.

“It’s a red flag,” said Romasanta.

For an election to take place, an election committee has to be put up the soonest but it doesn’t appear as if things are going in the right direction.