IOC wants POC charter amended before Nov. polls

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    NEWLY-ELECTED International Olympic Committee Executive Board member Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworski reiterated yesterday that it’s a must for the Philippine Olympic Committee Executive Board to resolve the amendments to the POC charter in time for the POC polls in November.

    “Priority ng IOC ito (amendments to the POC constitution) and it was communicated before during last year’s election (of POC president Bambol Tolentino),” Cojuangco-Jaworksi noted during the online session of the Philippine Sportswriters Association forum yesterday.

    “The IOC has been hoping that the POC constitution would be amended so that the new one would take effect by the November election,” added the 2002 Busan Asian Games show jumping champion in the public sports session sponsored by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp., San Miguel Corp., Smart, Bresca Restaurant and Go For Gold.

    The Philippine Equestrian Federation president also stressed that she saw no reason why the POC polls scheduled in November would not push through “since this provision is found in the POC constitution and by-laws.”

    She also urged the POC board to meet again as soon as possible to thresh out the pressing issues.

    Deliberations and discussion on the planned changes to the POC constitution and by-laws hit a snag during the board meeting last Friday over two issues that POC president Bambol Tolentino has been pushing before the November the polls where he is expected to run for re-election.

    These are the exclusion of candidates aged 70 and above for POC positions as well as the composition of the present 12-man board.

    Tolentino has branded the group led by POC first vice president Joey Romasanta as the “Group of Seven” for opposing the proposed changes in the POC charter.

    Taking up the cudgels for the Romasanta camp was board member Atty. Clint Aranas, who called the name-calling unfair and “divisive,” pointing out that they had agreed to most of the amendments proposed by Tolentino’s group.

    Aranas pointed out that he and the six other members of board were, in fact, the majority and urged the POC leadership to make the minutes of the board meeting last Friday open to the public for the sake of truth and transparency.

    Cojuangco-Jaworski, who disclosed during the forum that she was scheduled to update the world Olympic body on the POC developments yesterday, did not directly address the issue or take sides.

    Instead, she shared her thoughts, saying: “There is a reason why the Executive Board is part of this process. Ilang buwan na rin ang dumaan knowing this was a priority of the IOC, not for the IOC but for the POC.  Mas maganda sana na matagal na pag-uusapan ‘yang topics na yan.”

    Majority of the board members have complained they were not able to receive the proposed changes ahead of time or just three days before they first met last July 20 to tackle the amendments, prompting them to have a special session last Friday.

    “It is important that the intent of everyone in the board is understood properly. The discussions have to be honest and open. That everyone feels included in the process,” she said. “There should be no judgments on the individual’s intention because I believe that what all of us want is for the betterment of the POC and Philippine sports.

    “Of course, when I attend a board meeting I always have to go with the recommendation of the IOC.

    “This is the frame of mind when I entered these meetings, knowing of course that we will not agree 100 percent on everything. But I always still believe that there is a solution,” Cojuangco-Jaworksi said.

    “Not all of the answers to these situations are black and white.  Not all of answers are yes and No. So dapat magkaroon ng pasensiya sa isat-isa na makarating tayo sa isang solusyon na katanggap-tangap para sa lahat,” she said.