Officials of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) are looking at holding a special election on July 5 as they look to end their leadership issues.
The move was overwhelmingly approved by the members of the POC as they met in an extraordinary general assembly at the GSIS Building is Pasay City on Tuesday.
However, the general assembly was declared null and void since a notice of a special meeting should warrant a special 10-day notice. Former POC Pres. Ricky Vargas resigned June 18, thus requiring the GA to be held at least June 28.
So, POC Chairman Abraham "Bambol" Tolentino just decided to go on with the discussion, calling it a mere "kuwentuhan" (story-telling).
"As presiding officer, I don't want to be part of an invalid thing. Which, Atty. Charlie Ho, the deputy Secretary-General, admitted their wrongdoing. He apologized. I declared the General Assembly invalid. So we just discussed things. [It was] not formal," said Tolentino in the press conference.
Four members of the POC Executive Board verbally committed to resign, namely Tolentino, First Vice President Joey Romasanta, Auditor Jonne Go, and member Clint Aranas.
Even though the four offered to tender their resignation, all 13 members will remain as caretakers until the tentatively scheduled elections next week.
Aranas and Romasanta clarified that they will not be running for the presidency, while Tolentino said he is still unsure.
Romasanta explained that the process was a tedious one, with the designated election chairperson, Frank Elizalde, along with Al Agra, and another member receiving certificates of candidacy. Following the receipt of the certificates, the Executive Committee will then scrutinize their qualifications, before setting the date of elections.
"This is something also that I felt should have been done long ago. And I said, we need fresh faces, new faces. New ideas in the POC. We cannot go on like this forever. Very clearly, we had a very divided Committee," Romasanta said. He then added that he intends to retire from the POC after his term ends.
"The Philippine Olympic Committee itself is already a damaged organization. That's why we had to take this drastic measure for us to be able to correct things and at the same time provide a better POC."
Despite the meeting being null and void, all attendees moved to vacate their leaderships heading to next Friday's elections.
The only members to not attend and commit were Prospero Pichay of chess, Robert Mananquil of billiards and snooker, and second vice president Jeff Tamayo.
Tolentino meanwhile clarified that the elected positions will be only to fulfill the remaining term of all members, which is set to end January 2020, before another election will be held, as per POC rules which state that it should be held during an Olympic year.
Despite all this, the officials assured that the hosting of the Southeast Asian Games this November will not be affected.