7 POC board members insist on PHISGOC gab

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    INVOKING the Philippine Olympic Committee’s constitution and by-laws, seven members of the 13-man POC Executive Board issued a stern warning to POC secretary general Atty. Edwin Gastanes to comply with his duty and asked for a new meeting next week to tackle the failure of the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee to meet the POC’s demand for it to submit its 30th SEAG report, including the audited final statements, last Oct. 10.

    They said that if Gastanes fails to act on their instruction “we will take the initiative to send out the required notices and proceed with the meeting discussing not only the failure of PHISGOC to comply with the General Assembly’s resolution last 30 September 2020 but also appropriate sanctions to be imposed on you (Gastanes) for failure to comply with your duty as POC secretary general.”

    Gastanes is an appointee of POC president Rep. Bambol Tolentino, who is running for reelection in the POC polls on Nov. 27. He was asked by the group in a letter last Oct. 15 to hold a special meeting keeping with the POC general assembly motion last Sept. 30 for PHISGCOC to submit its report on the its operations of the 30th SEA Games.

    Former POC president Ricky Vargas, who also sits on the board as immediate past president, announced last Monday that he fully supported the POC resolution “because it is correct and the right thing to do.”

    The group is composed of POC chairman Steve Hontiveros, first vice president Joey Romasanta, second vice president Col. (ret.) Jeff Tamayo, treasurer Julian Camacho, auditor Jonne Go and board members Atty. Clint Aranas and Robert Mananquil of archery and billiards and snooker, respectively.

    Gastanes had earlier turned down a petition sent by the group for a special board meeting, citing a technicality that the board majority was “eight, not seven” based on the IOC guidelines concerning NOC Athletes Commission that were revised in 2019.

    Gastanes notified the group last Sunday that Athletes Commission member and triathlete Nikko Huelgas is the “14th member” of the board, noting his involvement in board deliberations and voting on the amendments to the POC charter.

    However, the group claimed that contrary to the explanation of Gastanes “the majority of the POC EB is seven not eight” based on Section VIII, Article 1 of the POC charter.

    “The POC by-laws clearly provide that its EB is composed of 13 members, namely: the chairman, the president, the IOC members in the country (if any), the first vice president, second vice president, secretary general, treasurer, auditor, the four individuals elected as executive board members, and immediate past president of the POC,” they wrote.

    The group said Huelgas was not a bona fide member of the board, noting his mere presence was in violation of the current POC charter and that his appearance per se in the meetings could be construed as amending its provisions.