Tolentino takes high ground in POC battle with Aranas


    REP. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino yesterday said his opponent for the presidency of the Philippine Olympic Committee, archery head Clint Aranas, and his backers are “resorting to ungentlemanly tactics just to win the POC elections,” adding their tactics are unsportsmanlike, foul, malicious and below-the-belt.”

    Aranas and his group are seeking the disqualification of Tolentino and his candidates for chairman, Tom Carrasco (triathlon), treasurer Cynthia Carrion (gymnastics) and board members Dr. Raul Canlas (surfing) and Dave Carter (judo).

    Aranas’ protest filed with the POC’s elections committee alleged that Tolentino, Carrasco and Carrion received allowances from the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee last year during the Southeast Asian Games; that Canlas has been the president of his association for only two years and not the prescribed four years, and Carter’s federation have issues with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

    “I, being a long time legislator and public servant, my accomplishments in public service have been my best form of political campaign,” Tolentino said in a letter addressed to his fellow POC members yesterday. “I will not do falsehood in order to win and will remain the same even in the POC elections.

    “It came as a surprise to me that Atty. Clint Aranas and his cohorts are now resorting to ungentlemanly tactics just to win the POC elections,” Tolentino, also the cycling head, said.

    “I consider these actions as unsportsmanlike, foul, malicious and below-the-belt.”
    Tolentino said National Sports Associations (NSAs) supporting Aranas, his lone opponent for the presidency, are potentially ineligible to vote in the November 27 elections. But he opted to give everyone the chance to exercise their right to vote.

    “I have gone over the different NSA records and found some of them to have questionable qualifications to run in any position for this election. It was (suggested) to file a protest and even to have those NSAs declared non-qualified,” he said. “However, I decided not to do that because I would like all the NSAs to be heard and be duly represented to cast their votes.

    “I have been in all stages of political preparations for elections and I have never smeared any name or suggest any damaging remarks against my opponents. In that aspect, I also win my opponents’ respect,” he added.

    Tolentino stressed in the letter that sorting to character assassination and black propaganda “is not on my list of political arsenal.”

    “I am therefore pleading for my opponents to be prudent to preserve the spirit of Olympism and sportsmanship. Let us all deal with qualifications only,” he added. “Lawyers, please act like lawyers and stick to the issues. You need not draft your papers that will induce your client to magnify matters that are out of the issue at hand.”

    Tolentino said he believes the members of our Election committee are lawyers of high repute.

    “I put all my trust on them, they know the rules more than I do,” he said.

    The election committee is chaired by Atty.Teodoro Kalaw IV with former International Olympic Committee (IOC) representative to the Philippines Frank Elizalde and University of the Philippines President Danilo Concepcion as members.