MANILA, Philippines – Philippine cycling chief Abraham "Bambol" Tolentino announced his intent to run for president of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) on Thursday, July 4.
"I’m officially running for president so that this (POC leadership mess) can be over," said Tolentino in a press conference. (2019 SEA Games: After POC shakeup, what now?)
Tolentino formally stepped down from his position as POC chairman in order to run for the top post as the special elections are set to happen on Sunday, July 28, in accordance to the directive of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Currently, 4 posts are vacant which include the POC president, chairman and the positions formerly held by board members Jonne Go and Clint Aranas. (READ: POC delays special elections as Olympic body steps in)
Archery president Aranas is tipped to run against Tolentino, but the discusssions in the POC executive board meeting on Monday, July 8, will determine the qualifications of each vacant post.
According to Tolentino, Aranas is not qualified to run as POC president and chairman as he has not completed a full four-year term as president of his national sports association.
The cycling chief added that until a replacement is elected, he will serve in his original position as chairman and carry out his responsibilities of presiding over the POC general assemblies and board meetings.
"While I have filed my written resignation, I still hold that capacity unitl a replacement has been elected," said Tolentino.
Tolentino was also concerned with the appointments being made by first vice president Joey Romasanta, who claimed that he's the acting POC president.
"We don’t have a successor to Mr Vargas. You are either president or you are not," the Tagaytay City congressman said.
"Secretary-general Patrick Gregorio has not resigned until a new POC president is elected and makes his own appointment."
Meanwhile, former national athletes Ada Milby of rugby and taekwondo's Stephen Fernandez were appointed as deputies of Team Philippines chef de mission and Philippine Sports Commission chairman William "Butch" Ramirez for the 2019 SEA Games. (TIMELINE: Will the POC feud affect PH's SEA Games hosting?) – Rappler.com
More commonly known as “Bee”, Beatrice is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Phillippine sports governance, national teams, football and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.