PSC chief says Ricky Vargas should've been allowed to run 'in spirit of sportsmanship'
Abap chief Ricky Vargas was disqualified from running for the POC top post. Jerome Ascano

PHILIPPINE Sports Commission (PSC) chairman William ‘Butch’ Ramirez believed Ricky Vargas should have been allowed by an election committee to run for the presidency of the Philippine Olympic Committee ‘in the spirit of sportsmanship.’

While he doesn’t question the decision of the election committee headed by Frank Elizalde, Ramirez felt the POC should have just allowed Vargas to challenge incumbent POC president Jose ‘Peping’ Cojuangco, instead of disqualifying the boxing chief due to a technicality.

“We have to work together as partners. I don’t question the wisdom of the Comelec of the POC. But for me, in the spirit of sportsmanship, to be a source of understanding, a source of unity, a source of discipline, value life and integrity, those people should have been allowed especially if the rule just say active membership,” Ramirez said.

As a government sports agency, however, the PSC has no direct say in the elections of the POC, a private entity.

[See Vargas camp questions disqualification from POC elections]

The POC election committee disqualified Vargas along with his chairman, Philcycling president and Cavite Rep. Abraham ‘Bambol’ Tolentino, as the election committee ruled they do not qualify as ‘active members’ based on Article 7, Section 11 of the POC constitution.

The term ‘active member’ has been the contentious issue for both parties, with Vargas believing that it refers to the national sports association, while the election committee interprets it as the person seeking a position in the POC.

For his part, however, Ramirez believed allowing Vargas to run in the elections could have been beneficial for Philippine sports.

“Active membership doesn’t disqualify you from running. It could have been good for Philippine sports to allow these people, free, and fair elections,” he said. 

[See Cojuangco insists nothing political with disqualification of rival Vargas]

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