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POC General Assembly; ‘Active member’ issue may divide house

Expected to be tackled is the delicate issue on “active member,” the same issue that rocked the 2016 POC elections and led to a court case being filed by disqualified presidential candidate Ricky Vargas and Rep. Abraham Tolentino (for chairman) against the POC.

MANILA, Philippines — If it comes to a vote, members of the Philippine Olympic Committee General Assembly will be divided between those wanting to honor the court ruling and those thinking that it may set a dangerous precedent within the local Olympic body.

The extraordinary GA will take place on Feb. 19 at the Wack Wack Golf and Country Club.

Expected to be tackled is the delicate issue on “active member,” the same issue that rocked the 2016 POC elections and led to a court case being filed by disqualified presidential candidate Ricky Vargas and Rep. Abraham Tolentino (for chairman) against the POC.

The Pasig Regional Trial Court last December ruled in favor of Vargas and Tolentino, that they are “active members” of the POC, and ordered the POC to hold another election on Feb. 23 for the positions of president and chairman.

Atty. Ramon Malinao of the POC legal team told The STAR yesterday that the General Assembly may decide on the “active member” issue either through a resolution or by amending a specific section of the POC by-laws.

To amend the by-laws by voting, which would require majority of the board and two-thirds of the General Assembly (numbering over 40) is like the POC bowing to the court ruling.

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If Vargas gets the nod of the GA, he will challenge Cojuangco for the top post.

A member of the POC board said the NSAs (national sports associations) should be aware of the complications of amending the by-laws based on the court ruling.

“It would mean that (results of) future POC elections can be appealed to the civil court. Even NSA elections can be brought to court. This will muddle up future elections if the losers go to court,” he said.

“I think there are more NSAs that are aware of this,” the board member, who requested anonymity, added.

The POC General Assembly, based on the suggestion of the International Olympic Committee, will try to settle the issue internally, the POC being an autonomous body as stressed by the IOC Charter.

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