The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) election committee (Elecom) formally denied the petition for disqualification filed against Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino and four of his allies in the POC elections.
In an eight-page decision, Elecom chairman Teddy Kalaw explained that the disqualification cases filed against Tolentino, Tomas Carrasco, Cynthia Carrion, Raul Canlas and Dave Carter lack merit, making them qualified in the POC polls this Friday.
Tolentino and Carrion are being accused of being in the payroll of Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (Phisgoc), which is a gross violation in the charter of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the principle of volunteerism of the POC.
On the other hand, Carrasco and Canlas were said to have failed to reach the required number of years to become POC chairman and director, respectively, while Carter’s organization — the Philippine Judo Federation — was said to have an expired registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
But the Elecom dismissed these cases, saying that they don’t have the power to determine the “supposed ethical lapses by candidates in an election.”
The Elecom was also never intended to be the forum for determining allegations of ethical lapses and its job is only limited to making sure the orderly conduct of the elections and not the internal regulations of the Olympic council.
“Accordingly, and in view of the above considerations, the Committee resolves to deny the objections against candidates Carrasco, Tolentino, Carrion-Norton on this particular issue for lack of merit,” Kalaw, who heads the ad hoc panel with IOC member Frank Elizalde and University of the Philippines Danilo Concepcion as members, said in his decision.
Kalaw added that they were unaware that they don’t have the jurisdiction over the ethical issue raised by the petitioners led by Clint Aranas, the archery chief who is challenging Tolentino for the POC presidency.
“I did not ‘know’ that (the election committee does not have the jurisdiction) from the start,” Kalaw told Daily Tribune in an interview.“We had to give them the opportunity to explain their positions. Also, it was not just me; we are three in the committee.”
He added that the decision was unanimous.
“When we first deliberated yesterday (Saturday), we found out that we were unanimous on the issue. Hence, the ruling.”
With the dismissal of the disqualification cases, the stumbling block in the candidacy of Tolentino and his group had been removed.
Tolentino can now seek a fresh four-year term as POC president while Carrasco can vie for the chairmanship, Carrion as auditor and Canlas, Carter, Pearl Managuelod and Butch Pichay as directors.
Richard Gomez as 1st vice president, Al Panlilio as 2nd vice president and Chito Loyzaga as treasurer complete Tolentino’s slate.
Meanwhile, Clint Aranas will be challenging Tolentino with Steve Hontiveros as chairman, Philip Ella Juico as 1st vice president, Ada Milby as 2nd vice president, Julian Camacho as treasurer, Monico Puentevella as auditor and Robert Bachmann, Robert Mananquil, Charlie Ho and Jeff Tamayo as board members.
Sideliners believe that the POC elections are tipped to go down the wire as Aranas and his group are demanding accountability from the Phisgoc, which is being headed by a top Tolentino ally in the House of Representatives, ousted Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano.
Daily Tribune tried, but its Viber message to Tolentino was unanswered.
For his part, Aranas accepted the decision, saying that they are leaving it to the voters to decide on whom they want to be their next set of leaders.