Philippine Olympic Committee president Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino will seek a full four-year term as POC chief when elections are held on November 27.
“Hindi naman full time ‘yung (position) tinakbuhan ko. I just ran to fill up the gap that was left when Mr. (Ricky) Vargas resigned,” said Tolentino, who represents the 4th District of Tagaytay in congress.
“Hindi naman sa nagbubuhat ng bangko pero nakita ninyo naman ang nagawa natin. Much more if it would be a complete term,” the POC head stressed.
The president of the Integrated Cycling Federation talked about his intentions during Tuesday’s virtual session of the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum presented by San Miguel Corp., Go For Gold, MILO, Amelie Hotel Manila, Braska Restaurant and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp., with Upstream Media as official webcast partner and powered by Smart.
He revealed that Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Al Panlilio and Ormoc City mayor Richard Gomez are joining his ticket.
Panlilio, who is also the president of Smart Communications and chief revenue officer of PLDT, is seeking the post of first vice president.
Gomez, who is the president of fencing and the modern pentathlon federation, will campaign to win the second vice president post.
Archery chief Clint Aranas, who used to be the president of the Government Service Insurance System, will challenge Tolentino’s bid for the presidency.
The POC chief said he will name the rest of the members of his ticket in the coming weeks.
Tolentino won over athletics’ chief Dr. Philip Ella Juico by four votes, 24-20, in the special elections ordered by the International Olympic Committee on July 28, 2019 after Vargas, head of the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines, stepped down from his post.
Tolentino’s election meant serving the POC for only 16 months or not even half of the full four-year term allowed.
But Tolentino was able to right the ship when the Philippines dominated the 30th Southeast Asian Games the Philippines hosted in December last year under his term.
“I was the sole author of 56 sports and how many events in the Southeast Asian Games, kung paano ako nakipag-one-on-one sa mga NSA (National Sports Associations),” he added. “So sa sports community ang tanong, ‘may nai-contribute ba ako?’ It’s for them to find out.”
The POC election committee will be composed of Atty. Teodoro Kalaw IV as chairman, with former International Olympic Committee representative Frank Elizalde and the chairman of the House Committee on Youth and Sports Eric Martinez.
The filing of the certificate of candidacy will be from Oct. 1 to 30, with the campaign period set to start on Nov. 1.
The POC elections, Tolentino said, would be a face-to-face exercise unlike the POC General Assembly last month done through a virtual meeting, its first during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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