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    Vargas hits ground running in first day of office as Peping backs call for unity at POC

    Feb 26, 2018
    Ricky Vargas had a busy first day as president of the POC. Jerome Ascano

    RICKY Vargas hit the ground running on his first day as Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president, establishing ties with the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and forming a transition team to prepare for the start of a new era for the Olympic body.

    A committee made up of sepak takraw head Karen Caballero, football general secretary Ed Gastanes, and Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) official Edgardo Francisco met with POC officials on Monday to begin the transition from the administration of Jose ‘Peping’ Cojuangco.

    Vargas won Friday’s POC re-election, beating Cojuangco, 24-15. He will be tasked to finish Cojuangco’s term until 2020.

    Caballero said the transition process is the first step in laying down the plans of Vargas and Co. in a bid to revive Philippine sports.

    “We aim to better understand what we are inheriting from the previous administration before we can move on and better strategize what we can do for the promised change of Vargas,” said Caballero.

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      Cojuangco, who stood as the head of the POC for 13 years, also expressed his willingness to support Vargas' call for unity at the end of a contentious election process.

      “Meron din naman kaming samahan noong araw. We will have to work together,” said Cojuangco, adding he already indicated his willingness to continue to attend POC events in his capacity as president of the equestrian federation.

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      “Maski papaano, if you don’t do that [support], don’t join,” he said.

      Cojuangco, 83, also said he supports calls for for changes in the POC constitution and by-laws, even backing a move to put an age-limit for the president.

      “I think so [changes in the constitution]. We already had in the agenda na mag-revise. For example, ‘yung age-limit and term of office. ‘Yun ang kinukuwestiyon,” said Cojuangco.

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      Ricky Vargas had a busy first day as president of the POC. Jerome Ascano
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