BOXING chief Ricky Vargas bared yesterday three key changes in the Philippine Olympic Committee charter being pushed by POC president Bambol Tolentino, including the controversial age cap of 70 years old for elective POC officials that Tolentino hopes will be enforced in the coming polls in November.
“Tatlo ang critical (proposed) changes in the constitution,” said the Association of Boxing Alliances of the Philippines president, who heads the POC committee on constitutional amendments, during the online session of the Philippine Sportswriters Association.
“One, of course, is the age limit of 70 years old for those who want to run for an elective POC position,” said Vargas, adding he had proposed this amendment two years ago while he was still the POC president.
“But I made it clear to Bambol that when he assigned me to head the committee I made it certain to him I would not run for any position,” he said, “because I would be conflicted if I do. I just want to make that clear. I feel we need this change.”
Many POC leaders have criticized this amendment that exclude potential candidates who are over 70, including POC first vice president Joey Romasanta and gymnastics president Cynthia Carrion, who are over the planned age limit and are members of the POC Executive Board.
“This age limit is now being followed by the International Olympic Committee,” noted Vargas. “What we are telling them is not to run but baka sana they can give way to the younger generation.”
Vargas said the other proposed changes are that officials should be barred from holding positions in various NSAs and that if an NSA has been booted out by its international federation, the POC can also boot out the NSA.
“I noticed that you can be officers of three or more NSAs. It is very difficult. Because you can be the president, vice president or director of three different NSAs,” Vargas stressed.
“Ang sinasabi namin kung incumbent official ka of an NSA, dapat isa lang.”
An example is Tolentino, who is the president of PhilCycling and also the secretary general of the National Chess Confederation of the Philippines.
“The other change that the POC leadership wants is that if an NSA is already disaffiliated with its IF, the POC can disaffiliate you also,” Vargas said.
He said his committee will thresh out these recommendations during its meeting this week before submitting it to the POC Executive Board for review and approval.
The other committee members are POC secretary general Atty. Edwin Gastanes, POC legal counsel Atty. Al Agra, baseball head Chito Loyzaga, chess president Rep. Prospero Pichay Jr. and PhilCycling secretary general Atty. Billy Sumagui.