VETERAN sports and volleyball hand Ramon “Tats” Suzara was expectedly elected yesterday as president of the newly-formed Philippine National Volleyball Federation Inc. in polls supervised by the Philippine Olympic Committee at the East Ocean Palace Restaurant in Paranaque.
Suzara, 60, who leads the Alliances of Philippine Volleyball Inc., garnered 31 out of the 32 votes cast by representatives of the three volleyball organizations, including the Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. and the Philippine Volleyball Federation.
LVPI secretary general Ariel Paredes got 30 votes as the new group’s chairman while the PVF’s Arnel Hajan and the AVP’s Donald Caringal were elected as vice president and secretary general with 30 and 31 votes, respectively.
The other members of the 13 man board are Rodrigo Roque (UAAP/LVPI), treasurer; Yul Benosa (PVF), auditor; and Ricky Palou (Premier Volleyball League), Charo Soriano (Beach Voleyball Republic), Carmela Gamboa (PVF), Karl Chan, former PVF president; Tony Boy Liao (APV), Fr. Vic Calvo (NCAA) and POC legal counsel Atty. Wharton Chan as board members.
POC secretary general Atty. Ed Gastanes, accreditation and membership commission head Atty. Billy Sumagui, and Chan represented the POC in the exercise that was mandated by the International Volleyball Federation, known by its French acronym, FIVB.
“I am delighted to be entrusted with the leadership of this new volleyball federation in the Philippines,” Suzara, the former secretary general of the Philippine Amateur Volleyball Association back in the eighties, said.
“I hope that a common love for the sport will provide us with the will to unite and collaborate to finally elevate the status of our national teams on the continental and international states,” he added.
Invoking a volleyball term, the chief executive officer of the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee said “that there is one skill set in volleyball we all know about – ‘Serve’. I think it is time for all of us to serve the sport.”
“Ang panalo dito ang volleyball. As you can see, this election is well represented,” POC president and Rep. Bambol Tolentino, who monitored the proceedings from the sidelines, said. “The FIVB will recognize what is recommended by the POC.”
Gastanes said the results of the election will be taken up and ratified by the new POC Executive Board during its online meeting today and will be presented to the virtual POC general assembly meeting on Thursday, where it is expected to get the formal approval by the body.
He said there was no need for the LVPI to be expelled from the POC “since their previous approval was provisional by the POC board while the PVF was not formally expelled by the POC general assembly.
“The mere fact that the LVPI was represented in this election makes the issue moot and fait accompli.”
Suzara said their terms will be two years, adding they will work on the organizational structure and register with the Securities and Exchange Commission as soon as possible.
The PNVFI is expected to be presented to the FIVB as the new National Sports Association for volleyball in the country during the world volleyball body’s virtual congress in the first week of February.