The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) election committee (Elecom) has the jurisdiction to decide on whether Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino is eligible to seek the POC presidency despite the allegation that he received salary from the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (Phisgoc).
In a 45-page position paper that Daily Tribune obtained, POC presidential bet Clint Aranas of archery said the three-man election panel has the power to decide on issues involving the qualifications of candidates in accordance to the relevant provisions of the POC constitution and by-laws.
He said the Elecom has the power to investigate and determine the issues raised on the disqualification letters and refer it to the POC by-laws and other applicable rules to decide on whether the candidate is qualified to run as POC officer or not.
Tolentino, the cycling chief and incumbent POC president, is being petitioned for disqualification after being alleged that he received salary from Phisgoc as its sports director during the country’s hosting of the 30th Southeast Asian Games.
According to the September 2018 Phisgoc payroll, Tolentino received a salary of P81,344, something that is against the charter of the International Olympic Committee and the POC principle on volunteerism.
Tolentino didn’t dispute the veracity of being paid as Phisgoc sports director, but made it clear that he didn’t receive payment as the Phisgoc co-vice chair starting July last year.
His ally, Cynthia Carrion, also admitted on record that she was on the payroll of Phisgoc as ceremonies director, adding that Phisgoc employed other POC officials during the country’s hosting of the SEA Games.
With that, Aranas sought for their disqualifications in the coming POC elections, but Tolentino stressed that the Elecom is not the proper forum to decide since it is not an “adjudicating body to hear and decide on these extraneous issues.”
Elecom chairman Teddy Kalaw listened to the sides of Aranas and Tolentino before requiring them to submit a position paper until Saturday morning.
“Yes, we have submitted everything and we beat the deadline at 10 a.m. today,” Aranas said in a telephone conversation, adding that the Elecom is tipped to decide on the disqualification case early next week.
“The ball is now in its court. We now leave everything to the Elecom and we are hoping that they would arrive at a fair judgment. We truly believe that they are the proper forum to tackle this matter.”
Aranas, a noted corporate lawyer and former president of the Government Service Insurance System, reiterated that the Elecom should exercise its jurisdiction of deciding on the qualification of candidates according to the POC by-laws and IOC charter.
“The Elecom has the power to adjudicate and decide upon issues involving qualifications of candidates based on the provisions of the POC by-laws, the candidates own qualifications and any objections put forth to such candidacy,” Aranas said.