It’s a brand new start for Philippine sports.
This is how Philippines Sports Commission PSC Comm. Ramon Fernandez described the overwhelming victory of Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP) chief Ricky Vargas, and Integrated Cycling Federation of the Philippines president and Tagaytay Rep. Bambol Tolentino during the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) held Feb. 23 at the Wack Wack Golf and Country Club West Side Grill in Mandaluyong.
Vargas defeated long-time POC prexy Jose ‘Peping’ Cojuangco, 24-15 while Tolentino out voted Philippine Table Tennis Federation’s head Ting Ledesma, 23-15.
For Fernandez, who has actively leading the fight against corruption in Philippine sports, yesterday’s election result is a win for the athletes – who have been suffering of many alleged irregularities in the POC.
Meanwhile, former PSC chief Dr. Perry Mequi, who likewise led the campaign against corruption in sports as well as overstaying and non-performing officials in POC, this not the end of the struggle for peace and change in Philippine elite sports.
“It’s another beginning and there’s much to be done. The leadership issues in many NSAs must be resolved as soon as possible because we have many international sports commitments. To meet the challenges, we must have unity and peace in the sports community,” he added.
It was recalled that Vargas and Tolentino were disqualified from running as president and chairman, respectively, in 2016 polls after the election committee led by former International Olympic Committee representative Frank Elizalde ruled that both were not “active members” by not attending enough general assembly meetings.*