DQ bid vs Tolentino, 4 others thrown out

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    TOLENTINO

    PHILIPPINE Olympic Committee president and Rep. Bambol Tolentino yesterday welcomed the POC electoral committee decision throwing out the disqualification bid against him and four other candidates on his slate, saying “the wisdom behind the decision of the committee is equitable.”

    Aside from Tolentino, who is running for reelection during the POC polls on Nov. 27, also dismissed were the cases filed against triathlon head Tom Carrasco, gymnastics chief Cynthia Carrion surfing honcho Raul Canlas and judo head Dave Carter. Carrasco and Carrion are running for chairman and treasurer, respectively, while Canlas and Carter are seeking seats as Executive Board members.

    Issuing the seven-page decision Saturday night was the electoral committee composed of its chairman, Atty. Teddy Kalaw IV, and UP president Danilo Concepcion and Frank Elizalde, the former International Olympic Committee representative to the country.

    Reacting to the decision, Aranas said: “I will respect their decision and we’re not going to appeal anymore. If that’s their wisdom, I will respect them.”

    “We have just have to deal with the cards we’re dealt with and continue to fight the good fight,” said athletics chief Philip Ella Juico, who is running as first vice president on Aranas’ slate.

    “Our electoral committee encountered a protest with a unique interpretation besides a plain and simple understanding (of the POC election rules). Bereft with merit, these allegations are purely to destroy the character and reputation (of our candidates) with anomalous accusations in the eyes and ears of the innocent stakeholders,” Tolentino said in a statement.

    “The wisdom behind the decision of the committee is equitable,” he added. “I commend these gentlemen for their wise words and candor.”

    The petitions for disqualification were filed by the camp of archery chief Atty. Clint Aranas, who is challenging Tolentino for POC president.

    Aranas’ camp claimed that Tolentino, Carrasco, Carrion and Carter were paid by the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee for rendering services during the 30th SEA Games and failed to disclose this; that Carrasco and Canlas allegedly failed to meet the four-year qualification as NSA officials, and that Carter’s federation has issues with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

    The committee concluded “that all official protests filed against Tolentino, Carrasco, Carrion-Norton, Canlas and Carter are denied in their entirety for lack of merit.

    “Accordingly, the certified list of candidates for the 2020 POC Regular Term Elections as issued last 31 October 2020 is now deemed final. All other requests for relief of above are hereby denied.”

    The committee noted that during the online clarificatory hearing last Thursday, the allegations were not covered by the POC election rules as cited in Sections 2, 11 and 12 of Article VII of the POC bye-laws.

    Meanwhile, four National Sports Associations and Rio Olympic Games silver medalist Hidylin Diaz have availed of the “sealed ballot process” for the Philippine Olympic Committee polls this coming Friday.

    Aside from Diaz, who is currently training in Malaysia, those who have opted for the system are the Philippine Football Federation, Philippine Canoe-Kayak Dragon Boat Federation, Philippine Skating Union, and Philippine Sambo Federation Inc.

    These NSAs will have to send their sealed ballots through their respective representatives at the voting venue, the East Ocean Restaurant in Paranaque, which will be only opened by the POC electoral committee during the canvassing of votes.

    The poll body announced that the Inter-Agency Task Force in charge of the COVID-19 pandemic has required that voters during election day undergo onsite testing before they are allowed to cast their ballots.