IF the election committee chief’s interpretation of the bylaws will be followed, then Manny V. Pangilinan may not be qualified to run for president of the Philippine Olympic Committee.
Speaking in the POC radio program over Sports Radio 918 on Thursday, POC election committee chairman Victorico Chavez said the POC constitution and bylaws clearly states that anyone is not qualified to run for the presidency if he has not actively participated in the general assembly of the country's highest sports body.
“He should be participating in the activities of the general assembly,” said Chavez, without mentioning anyone in particular. “Kung magiging presidente ka ng POC, tapos hindi mo alam kung ano nangyayari dahil hindi ka nag-aattend sa meeting, hindi ka active kung ano ginagawa sa GA.”
“The qualifications are very clear under the constitution and by-laws,” said Chavez, a former Congressman who also held the same position during the 2008 polls.
Pangilinan, who is being urged to run against two-term president Jose 'Peping' Cojuangco, is president of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas and chairman of both the Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines and the Philippine Badminton Association.
However, the businessman has not been seen attending the POC general assembly, which is the regular gathering among representatives of the country's national sports associations.
Chavez said Article VII, Section 11 of the POC charter states that: “The Chairman and the President of the POC must have had at least 4 years experience as NSA President of an Olympic Sport at the time of his election as POC Chairman or President; provided, that they must be elected from any of the incumbent NSA Presidents representing an Olympic sport, and provided, further, that they have been an active member of the POC General Assembly for two consecutive years at the time of their election.”
However, sports officials pushing for Pangilinan's candidacy insist the definition of “active member” and “general assembly” may be subject to interpretation.
According to ABAP president and top Pangilinan lieutenant Ricky Vargas, the telecommunications mogul is open to running for the highest position in sports if NSA officials will rally behind him in a campaign for reforms in Philippine sports.
Sources said a meeting among sympathetic officials and Pangilinan is being arranged by the MVP camp on October 22 to ascertain how many voting members of the POC will rally behind the SBP head if and when he decides to run against Cojuangco.