Defiant Peping Cojuangco says he'll let IOC know about court's hand in re-election
Embattled POC president Peping Cojuangco is not giving up the fight. Jerome Ascano

EMBATTLED Philippine Olympic Committee president Jose ‘Peping’ Cojuangco expressed disappointment over the decision of an election committee to allow rival Ricky Vargas to run in a POC re-election on Friday based on a court ruling.

“It’s sad that the POC is holding an election on a court order,” said Cojuangco in a statement hours after receiving the news that the election body had given Vargas and his ally Rep. Bambol Tolentino the go-signal to run for POC president and chairman, respectively, against him and Ting Ledesma.

Cojuangco said the move is tantamount to government intervention, which the International Olympic Committee (IOC) frowns upon.

“I will inform the IOC about it,” he said defiantly.

The POC re-election is set Friday at the Wack Wack Golf and Country Club and Vargas is naturally elated over the decision by a committee headed by former IOC representative to the Philippines Frank Elizalde to allow him to run.

It was this same election committee that disqualified him in the 2016 poll for not qualifying to be an 'active member' of the general assembly - a decision that was eventually overruled by a Pasig court which ordered the re-election.

“Naturally, I am relieved Mr. Elizalde has seen fit to comply with the court order. At the end of the day, we all need to act as responsible and law-abiding citizens who respect the rule of law,” said Vargas, president of the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP).

“Otherwise, we will have chaos,” he added. “Let us have elections, not dissensions.”

“Our athletes are closely watching us,” stressed vargas, who is also current chairman of the PBA board. “We need to act as mature leaders. Let us give the voters a chance to choose. Mabuhay ang Atletang Pilipino.”

Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos