All systems go for POC polls

SPORTING CHANCEJoaquin M. Henson (The Philippine Star) – October 21, 2020 – 12:00am

UP president Atty. Danilo Concepcion was recently named to replace Rep. Eric Martinez in the three-man COMELEC that will supervise the POC elections on Nov. 27 and it’s all systems go after a move to postpone the polls until next year was quashed. There are two opposing tickets bidding for seats in the Executive Board with 51 votes from each accredited National Sports Association plus three more from IOC member Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworski and two representatives from the Athletes Commission to decide the winners. The other COMELEC members are Atty. Teodoro Kalaw IV and IOC honorary member Frank Elizalde.

POC president Rep. Bambol Tolentino is running for his first full term after filling the position vacated by Ricky Vargas in a special election in July last year. The candidates in his ticket are Tom Carrasco for chairman, Al Panlilio for first vice president, Mayor Richard Gomez for second vice president, Cynthia Carrion for treasurer, Chito Loyzaga for auditor and Pearl Managuelod, Dave Carter, Rep. Butch Pichay and Dr. Jose Raul Canlas for board members. Former GSIS head Clint Aranas, a lawyer like Tolentino, leads the other ticket as candidate for president. In his lineup are Steve Hontiveros for chairman, Philip Juico for first vice president, Ada Milby for second vice president, Julian Camacho for treasurer, Monico Puentevella for auditor and Robert Bachmann, Charlie Ho, Managuelod and Robert Mananquil for board members.

The reelectionist incumbents are Hontiveros as chairman, Tolentino as president and Camacho as treasurer. Aranas, Carrion, Mananquil and Pichay are currently board members. Tolentino said he’s not inclined to turn the campaign into a political battlefield. “No need for debate,” he said. Tolentino remarked that the key is winning the trust of the voters. What he has achieved is the basis for his reelection bid. He called it “trabahong tapat.” Tolentino said his ticket stands by its accomplishments, action more than words. The NSA president of cycling mentioned that without PSC asking for it, he sponsored the Bayanihan 2 to restore the allowances of athletes and coaches in Congress. As a low-profile action man who likes to work without fanfare, Tolentino is known to champion the aspirations of athletes and their NSAs.

ABAP secretary-general Ed Picson, who is supporting Tolentino’s ticket, said you can’t argue against track record, credibility, background and performance. “Not too many know that Cong. Bambol singlehandedly worked to give as many of our NSAs the chance to win gold at the last SEA Games through his participation in the Sports and Rules Committee,” said Picson. “That’s a major reason why the Philippines went from No. 6 to No. 1 in the SEA Games medal standings. That’s not all. Since he took over as POC president, he’s inspired and motivated our athletes to excel in the international stage. In the past, our athletes felt abandoned and neglected with POC officials indifferent. It was nothing but doomsday forecasts in international competitions before. Things are different now. Cong. Bambol reaches out to the athletes, gives them the opportunity to compete and puts them in a position to succeed.”

Picson said Tolentino’s lineup is packed with sports officials whose reputation is pristine. Panlilio, for instance, isn’t only the SBP president and PBA Meralco governor but PLDT chief revenue officer and Smart president/CEO. Carrion is well-respected in world gymnastics as the main supporter of Olympic gymnastics qualifier and world champion Caloy Yulo. Carrasco brought triathlon to unprecedented heights, Canlas is a renowned orthopedic surgeon and NSA president of the Olympic sport surfing, Gomez is NSA president of fencing and a former SEA Games gold medalist, Loyzaga is NSA president of baseball, Carter is NSA president of judo, Pichay is NSA president of chess and Managuelod is NSA secretary-general for muaythai. Tomorrow, we take a close look at Aranas’ platform and ticket.

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