Mikee seeks vital solution to POC polls impasse

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    SHE has bigger responsibilities as a newly-elected International Olympic Committee Executive Board member, but Mikaela Cojuangco-Jaworski could not help but express her concerns in what is happening in her own backyard.

    Cojuangco-Jaworksi cited the tension between Philippine Olympic Committee president Bambol Tolentino and majority of the POC executive board members over two proposed key changes in the POC constitution and by-laws.

    Tolentino has been pushing to exclude candidates aged 70 and above in running for positions in the POC election scheduled in November as well as reorganizing the board’s current composition and membership.

    But Tolentino and the majority bloc led by POC first vice president Joey Romasanta failed to come to terms during a special session last July 24, leaving both issues hanging, despite nearly five hours of discussions and deliberations on the proposed changes.

    “This is an IOC priority (regarding the amendments to the constitution) and it was communicated immediately after last year’s election (of POC president Tolentino and Chairman Steve Hontiveros). This is an IOC priority,” Cojuangco-Jaworski noted.

    “The IOC has been hoping that the POC constitution would have been amended already, so that the new one would be in effect for the November election,” said the IOC board official, who was also elected Equestrian Association of the Philippines president last February.

    Cojuangco-Jaworski 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,” adding that there should be another meeting soon to tackle the amendments.

    She stressed the role of the POC board in threshing out these charter changes.

    “There is a reason why the Executive Board is part of this process,” she explained. “Ilang buwan na rin ang dumaan knowing this was a priority of the IOC, not for the IOC itself but for the benefit of the POC.

    “Mas maganda sana na matagal nang napag-usapan ‘yang topics na ‘yan.

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

    “It is important that the intent of everyone on the board is understood properly. The discussions have to be honest and open. That everyone is included in the process,” she said of her aim to be a mediator between the two parties.

    “There should be no judgments on the individual’s intentions because I believe that what all of us want is for the betterment of the POC and Philippine sports,” she added.

    “This is the frame of mind when I enter 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.

    Romasanta’s camp earlier complained that they had not been given enough time to study the lengthy list of proposed amendments to the POC charter, adding they were only given three days before the first POC board meeting on July 20 to study them, prompting another special session on the issue on July 24.

    “Not all of the answers to situations are black and white. Not all 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.