THE Pasig City Regional Trial Court on Thursday has denied the motion by the camp of Ricky Vargas for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) on the Philippine Olympic Committee elections.
The decision by the courts has cleared any legal hindrance to the POC polls to be held on Friday at the Wack Wack Golf and Country Club where Jose 'Peping' Cojuangco is now expected to gain a fourth term as president uncontested.
"We received the order of the court denying our application for Temporary Restraining Order on the POC elections," said Vargas in a statement on Thursday.
On the other hand, Cojuangco, through POC vice president Joey Romasanta, said the court's decision is "a vindication for the POC election rules," as he expressed "profound gratitude to our Comelec for steadfastly upholding our constitution and by laws."
Vargas' camp had sought a TRO against the POC elections after the boxing association head was disqualified from running against Cojuangco by an election committee which claimed Vargas doesn't qualify as an 'active member' of the Olympic body.
The ruling was contested by the camp of Vargas, who argued that the election committee interpreted the term 'active membership' liberally to find a ground to disqualify him from the race.
While it decided against issuing a TRO, the Pasig court set hearings for December 9 and 16 for the determination of the rightful definition of the term "active membership" which is the bone of contention in this case.
"Ergo, the issue has not been settled with finality," Vargas said. "We will await the resolution of this case."
While Cojuangco is set to run uncontested, Vargas' allies will battling the longtime POC chief's partymates in the elections.
Vargas' camp has fielded Rep. Alfredo Benitez (first vice-president), Gen. Lucas Managuelod (second vice-president) and Renauld "Sonny" Barrios (treasurer) - candidates who the group said "will continue our crusade for change and reform in the POC."
"We fought on the principle of change and we continue to bat for it. If you want change let your votes signify change. The Filipino athlete deserves no less," Vargas said.