Peping accepts Vargas win but remains concerned over POC autonomy due to ‘court intervention’  
Peping Cojuangco has accepted his loss in the POC elections to Ricky Vargas. Jerome Ascano

FORMER Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Jose ‘Peping’ Cojuangco has accepted the result of the elections on Friday that saw Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (Abap) president Ricky Vargas take over the top post of the national Olympic body.

Cojuangco said he respects the decision of majority of the general assembly to have Vargas as the new president of the POC in an election ordered by the courts.

“For me, the majority has spoken,” said Cojuangco in a press conference at his home in Makati City a day after the POC elections held at the Wack Wack Golf and Country Club.

Cojuangco lost in the POC reelection on Friday, 24-15, ending his 13-year reign as president.

The former POC president previously said he was concerned about a possible IOC suspension due to the ‘intervention’ of the courts when the Pasig Regional Trial Court ordered a repeat of the 2016 elections.

Cojuangco, however, believes the results of the election will stand as the general assembly was the one who called for the repeat of the elections.

“I don’t think that they will do that because what they (IOC) said was throw it to the GA. Actually, the electoral body is the GA. I will have to take it up,” said Cojuangco.

Cojuangco said he is merely concerned as to how far the courts can go and how the situation can affect the autonomy of the POC.

“If the courts have that power, we are finished. It's just that I don’t think it’s one person can decide and interpret the meaning of the provision of the by-laws and constitution.

“If it’s a group that did it, (let’s say) Supreme Court, baka puwede pa pero I don’t know of any instance that happened to us lalo na’t isa pang kinakatakot ko na we are obliged by the IOC constitution to defend the autonomy and not succumb to pressures of religion, monetary, or any other,” said Cojuangco.

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Even after losing the polls, Cojuangco said he plans to continue attending the general assembly of the POC, being the president of the equestrian federation of the Philippines.

“Maski naman nung araw eh (I’ve been attending) when I was president of bowling and golf,” said Cojuangco.

Cojuangco also said he doesn’t feel any ill-feelings towards the POC general assembly or even with former International Olympic Committee (IOC) representative to the Philippines Frank Elizalde, who declared Vargas eligible for the POC elections.

“Wala naman akong hinanakit. For a guy who is also at my age, of course, he is clean and he was afraid off a record put on his name that he was charged. I think he was protecting his name more than anything else. Sinabi naman niya pagkatapos na he still believes na he is not qualified,” said Cojuangco.

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