NSAs join forces in fight vs POC ‘injustices’
05/06/2009 | 06:49 PM
MANILA, Philippines – Officials of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) will have to brace themselves for repercussions pertaining to their supposed interference in elections of the different National Sports Associations (NSAs).
This as eight NSAs embroiled in leadership disputes have joined forces in their fight against the POC’s alleged unjust actions. According to the NSA heads, the POC has been making inconsistent decisions favoring their rival groups, whom they said are supporters of POC president Jose Cojuangco Jr.
The disgruntled leaders gathered Wednesday at the Quezon City Sports Club to unify their efforts.
Present were archery’s Renato Bartolome and Ligaya Manalang, badminton’s Amelita “Ming” Ramos, billiards’ Sebastian Chua and Yen Macabenta, equestrian’s Partylist Rep. Carissa Coscolluela, cycling’s Tagaytay Mayor Abraham Tolentino, wrestling’s Jet Lozada, wushu’s Edwin Pimentel and swimming, represented by Save PASA Movement’s Atty. Jane Ong.
The leaders also signed the NSAs’ declaration of solidarity and concern for Philippine sports which calls for “establishing a new system where sports leaders, athletes and stakeholders can truly join together in developing Philippine Sports.”
“We believe there are other NSAs who share our call and we expect the number of signatories to grow in the coming days,” said Macabenta.
The group plans to get a meeting with International Olympic Committee representative to the Philippines Frank Elizalde although it is also open to the option of bringing their complaints directly to the IOC.
There is also a plan to file corporate cases against the POC since NSAs are under the jurisdiction of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
For the group, the POC has done “injustice” when they decided to enforce rules in their respective elections that eventually favored their pro-Cojuangco rival groups.
Their contention got a boost after International Cycling Federation (UCI) president Pat McQuiad told the POC that only the International Federations have jurisdiction in determining their rightful members.
In his letter to POC sec-gen Steve Hontiveros dated April 30, McQuiad said that the UCI can’t allow POC to interfere in the procedure of electing a National Cycling Federation.
The reaction came after the POC informed UCI that it had ordered Philcycling to hold an election this Saturday, May 9, using what cycling officials claimed an outdated 2003 voters list.
McQuiad had also written IOC Relations Director Pere Miro to help tell the POC that it is violating the Olympic Charter with this supposed interference.
“The letter of UCI to the POC is very significant in our fight because it clearly states that the (POC) decision is against the IOC charter. The language used by the UCI is very specific and they were totally horrified that voting list is being enforced on the NSAs by the POC,” said Macabenta. –GMANews.TV