MANILA - Resigned members of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) Executive Board cannot attend the scheduled special meeting on July 8.
This was indicated in the July 4 letter sent to the POC by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which received two notices from different groups calling for a special board meeting next week.
"This is adding confusion to the existing situation," said the letter signed by James Macleod, IOC director of Olympic Solidarity and National Olympic Relations, and Husain Al-Musallan, Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) director general and technical director.
In its July 2 letter, the IOC/OCA had recommended that the POC Executive Board should call for a special meeting on July 8, to be followed by a first extraordinary General Assembly meeting on July 18 where the minutes of the July 8 meeting will be ratified.
A second extraordinary General Assembly meeting will be held on July 28, which is also the date set for the election.
The IOC/OCA will send representatives to the meetings on July 18 and 28.
"In the framework of our self-explanatory letters dated 29 June and 2 July, it is expected that due process be followed to implement the proposed steps smoothly, in good faith and without any unnecessary complications which do not serve the interests of the POC, knowing that obviously, we all agree on the final objective of this process (i.e. elections for the vacant positions within the Executive Board).
"Without entering into any personal or internal disputes and with the sole intention of moving forward smoothly and positively, we are of the opinion that : 1. All eligible members of the Executive Board should attend the meeting convened on 8 July by a resolution signed by the majority of the Executive Board members, as was initially requested. 2. All individual whose position with the Executive Board is disputed and/or may be subject to any interpretation (namely Chairman, President and two Executive Board members who have resigned); the position of "immediate past President"; and the position of Secretary General) should abstain from participating in this meeting, to avoid any further disputes or challenges, and in the interest of the POC as in institution," the IOC/OCA letter read.
The IOC/OCA noted that its opinion is "consistent with the basic principle of good governance and would avoid any potential conflict of interests, or perception of conflict of interests, in particular, if any of the individuals who have resigned are also candidates in the forthcoming elections for the vacant posts".
Those who are barred from participating in the July 8 meeting are chairman Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino (cycling), president Ricky Vargas (boxing) and board members Clint Aranas (archery) and Cynthia Carrion (gymnastics).
Tolentino has announced his intention to run for president in the July 28 election in a press conference on Thursday.
The current members of the POC Executive Board are first vice president Jose Romasanta (karate), second vice president Jeff Tamayo (soft tennis), treasurer Julian Camacho (wushu), auditor Jonne Go (canoe/kayak) at board members, Surigao del Sur Cong. Prospero Pichay Jr. (chess), Robert Mananquil (billiards), IOC representative to the Philippines, Mikee Cojuangco, IOC honorary member Frank Elizalde, and former POC president Jose Cojuangco Jr.
In the event that the July 8 will not proceed, the IOC/OCA said that the POC Executive Board members should sign a resolution calling for a General Assembly on July 18 "so that the second step of the process mentioned in our letter dated 2 July would be implemented directly and without any further delay".
The IOC/OCA also said that all pending issues, including the confirmation of the chairperson of the meeting and the appointment of the election commission, will be included in the agenda of the July 18 meeting.
"Everyone should simply respect the collegial decisions/resolutions taken by the members of the competent governing bodies of the POC, be it the Executive Board or the General Assembly, in line with the basic principles of good governance within the Olympic Movement," the IOC/OCA said.
Meanwhile, Vargas said he will not attend the July 8 meeting.
"I was prepared to attend the POC Board Meeting on July 8, 2019, until I read the last letter from the IOC/OCA letter dated July 4, 2019, which I determined was unfavorable to my attendance.
"I had hoped to be of help in fostering unity and clarifying several issues currently facing the POC but I will accept the advice from the IOC/OCA not to be at the said meeting," said Vargas in a statement issued on Friday. (PNA)