POC to tackle amendments to by-laws this Friday

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    UPON the suggestion of majority of its members, the Philippine Olympic Committee Executive Board yesterday deferred to Friday the discussion and deliberation on the long list of proposed amendments to the POC’s constitution and by-laws.

    POC president Bambol Tolentino, who wants to exclude POC officials aged 70 and above from running in the local Olympic body in polls set in November among the charter changes, agreed to the suggestion of eight members of the 12-man board to tackle the issue during a special session.

    Gymnastics chief Cynthia Carrion, a Tolentino ally, proposed to reschedule the discussion on the planned amendments after fellow board member Atty. Clint Aranas of archery explained that it was only last Saturday that the board received a copy of the proposals.

    Carrion, who is in her seventies, has been vocal against the 70-year-old cage cap being pushed by the Tolentino camp.

    Aranas said he was surprised after being left out of the POC commission on constitutional amendments led by boxing chief Ricky Vargas. He said in a previous meeting he was named as a member of the group.

    “I was clearly made to understand in a previous board meeting that I was a member of this committee, only to learn I was no longer there when the minutes came out. This is why Cynthia understood where I was coming from,” the former Government Surety and Insurance System chairman said. “My name was apparently deleted in the minutes of that board meeting.”

    Aside from Vargas, the other committee members are POC secretary general Atty. Edwin Gastanes, baseball’s Chito Loyzaga, cycling secretary general Atty. Billy Sumagui, and obstacle course racing head and POC legal counsel Atty. Al Agra, who presented the proposed changes to the board.

    Also joining the online meeting were POC chairman Steve Hontiveros, POC first vice president Joey Romasanta, treasurer Julian Camacho, auditor Jonne Go, board member Robert Mananquil of billiards and snooker, and Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworski, the International Olympic Committee representative to the Philippines.

    It was the first public appearance of Cojuangco-Jaworski since she was elected a member of the IOC Executive Board last Friday during the 136th session of the IOC Congress, the first to be held online by the world Olympic body.

    The 2002 Busan Asian Games gold medalist signed the 16-page resolution submitted by Hontiveros, Romasanta, Go, Camacho, Aranas, Mananquil and  POC second vice president Col. Jeff Tamayo to the  board containing their response and counter-proposals to the planned amendments to the POC charter.

    Several sources said Cojuangco-Jaworski, an IOC member since 2013, explained that the 70-year-old age cap being invoked by the amendments commission did not apply to National Olympic Committee officials but to IOC members.

    “Being an IOC member and being an NOC that is affiliated with the IOC are two different and distinct things,” Romasansta stressed. “This distinction has to be made.”

    Romasanta and Aranas raised their eyebrows to one of the changes being pushed by the Tolentino camp, that of naming a “private or distinguished person” to the POC board.

    “A non-POC member from the private sector. What is his business doing there during the board deliberations? Ano ‘yon? Gobyerno ba kami?” Aranas asked.