UNLESS a surprise candidate comes out of the blue in the next few weeks, it appears Jose ‘Peping’ Cojuangco is on track to earning another term as Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president.
Less than two months before the country’s Olympic body holds its election of officers, Cojuangco remains unopposed in his bid for a fourth term as POC prexy.
The election is set on November 25.
POC chairman Tom Carrasco was initially being groomed as the top challenger for the post Cojuangco has held since 2004. But in the last election of the Triathlon Association of the Philippines (TRAP), Carrasco ended up being the secretary-general of the federation, making him ineligible to run as POC chief.
As per POC rules, candidates for president/chairman must come from the ranks of the heads of an NSA (National Sports Association) who have been in office for four years and are active members of the Olympic body.
“Medyo mabigat ang criteria kaya wala silang mahanap na pantapat kay Cong (Cojuangco),” said POC vice president Joey Romasanta.
It was under Cojuangco’s latest term that the country won an Olympic silver medal courtesy of weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, its first since the 1996 Atlanta Games when boxer Mansueto ‘Onyok’ Velasco also bagged a medal of the same mint.
As things stand now, the battle will be on the executive committee positions the way it was during the 2012 election when Cojuangco won a third term unopposed.
Romasanta is seeking a second straight term and may find himself opposed in the position by Carrasco. The former Gintong Alay project manager won the post four years ago by beating former boxing association president Manny Lopez in a close vote.
The battle for the position of treasurer could also turn out to be a hotly-contested one as concurrent three-termer Julian Camacho of the Philippine Wushu Federation reportedly will go head-to-head with Philippine Canoe-Kayak Federation counterpart Jonee Go.
“These are two crucial positions in the POC so we understand why they are eyeing it,” said a POC insider.