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    New POC chief Bambol Tolentino to focus on reforms, SEA Games hosting

    Jul 28, 2019
    PHOTO: Marlo Cueto

    NEWLY-ELECTED Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Abraham ‘Bambol’ Tolentino vowed to continue putting in the reforms pushed by former chief Ricky Vargas, as well as focus on the country’s hosting of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.

    Tolentino won the presidency during the POC special election on Sunday afternoon at the Century Park Hotel, defeating athletics chief Philip Ella Juico, 24-20. The cycling president will serve out the unfinished term of Vargas until 2020.

    Tolentino said he will continue Vargas' push for reforms within the POC.

    “Definitely, itutuloy ko lang po ‘yung reforms na ginagawa ni immediate past president Ricky Vargas,” Tolentino told reporters after officially winning the special polls.

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    Tolentino was chairman during the tenure of Vargas. Tolentino also said the POC will focus on the hosting of the SEA Games following the resolution of the leadership issue in the national Olympic body.

    “SEA Games, ‘yun talaga focus natin. Hindi tayo humihiwalay. We have to focus on that. Hindi po tayo nawawala ng direksyon with Phisgoc and PSC. Trabaho na ito. We are here,” said Tolentino.

    Tolentino said he will appoint Patrick Gregorio as POC secretary general while offering the deputy secretary general post to fencing chief and Ormoc City mayor Richard Gomez.

    Handball president Steve Hontiveros was also elected as chairman, while Clint Aranas and Cynthia Carrion regained their positions as board members during the polls.

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    The new POC chief also called for unity following the special polls.

    “Hopefully, matapos na rin itong POC squabble. As the saying goes, set aside the differences and move forward. Let us all be united because we are preparing and focusing on the SEA Games,” said Tolentino.

    Meanwhile, Juico accepted the result of the elections.

    “The voting was very transparent, very orderly … That’s the result. You have to deal with it. If we can help, we are a text and call away,” said Juico.

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    PHOTO: Marlo Cueto
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