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    IOC warns rushing POC special election could lead to legal issues

    Jul 3, 2019
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano

    THE International Olympic Committee (IOC) reiterated that the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) should not rush the holding of its special elections to avoid legal issues.

    The IOC sent a second letter, dated July 2, recommending steps that would lead to a special election no later than July 28, even as POC chairman Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino has set the poll for July 5.

    “We all agree that issues must be addressed and resolved quickly, but not in a hurry, as a due process must be followed,” said the IOC in a letter signed by director of Olympic Solidarity and NOC relations James MacLeod and Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) director general and technical director Husain Al-Musallam.

    The IOC officials said the POC should hold a special meeting of the POC executive board no later than July 8 where an independent election commission will be formed for approval of the general assembly, and call for an extraordinary general assembly meeting.

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    The POC is then urged to hold a first extraordinary meeting of the general assembly no later than July 18 to approve the appointment of the independent election commission.

    The election is then recommended to be held during a second extraordinary meeting on or before July 28.

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      “In view of the recent challenges as to the legality or legitimacy of the latest POC meetings, we strongly believe that this process is the only way to address and resolve the current situation in accordance with the POC constitution and based on formal and collegial decisions taken by the competent government bodies of the POC, so as we avoid any further legal issues, which would worsen the situation,” said the IOC.

      In the letter, the IOC also noted it has received the written letter of resignations by Ricky Vargas as president, Tolentino as chairman, and Clint Aranas and Cynthia Carrion as board members.

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      The IOC explained it found the need to step in as POC was unable to resolve its internal crisis among themselves.

      “It must be noted that the POC has had many opportunities to resolve all these issues internally and peacefully, however has not managed to do so until now. Under these circumstances, the IOC and OCA have the duty to offer guidance and assistance to resolve the situation in the interest of the Olympic movement,” said the IOC.

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      PHOTO: Jerome Ascano
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