Ricky Vargas camp questions disqualification from POC elections

ASSOCIATION of Boxing Alliances of the Philippines (ABAP) president Ricky Vargas won' take sitting down his disqualification as candidate for the presidency of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC).

The camp of Vargas said it will definitely question the decision of the Commission of Elections (Comelec) to bar the former PBA chairman from opposing incumbent POC chief Jose 'Peping' Cojuangco in the Nov. 25 poll.

"He believes he has all the qualifications to run for POC president and none of the disqualifications," said Atty Chito Salud, the former PBA commissioner and spokesperson of Vargas, in a sent statement on Wednesday.

Earlier in the day during the General Assembly, Comelec chairman Frank Elizalde said Vargas  and his chairman, Bambol Tolentino of cycling, are disqualified for seeking posts in the Olympic body after failing to meet election requirement under Article 7 Section 11 of the POC constitution. The rule states the president and chairman should have been an ‘active member of the POC general assembly for two consecutive years at the time of their election.’

Based on documents, according to Elizalde, Vargas only attended the general assembly just once in a two-year span.

Curiously, Vargas wasn’t around during the assembly, and was represented by ABAP secretary-general Patrick Gregorio.

The camp of Vargas obviously lamented not being given the chance to meet Cojuangco head-on in what many foresees as the toughest fight the incumbent will have to face since beating the late Art Macapagal of shooting for the same post, 21-19, during the 2008 elections.

“It is unfortunate. The disqualification clearly disregards the principles of fair play and prejudices not just the rights of ABAP and Mr. Vargas, but the interest and welfare of Philippine sports as well,” said Salud in the same statement.

Lawyers of Vargas, the TNT Katropa governor to the PBA Board, are now preparing the remedies available to the ABAP chief to determine ‘whether it is pointless or futile to ask the election committee and the POC executive board for a reconsideration of the disqualification order.’

Vargas and his group already saw it coming during the time they filed their certificate of candidacy at the POC on Monday, even comparing it to the legendary Biblical characters David and Goliath.

“Goliath allowed David to battle with him. In this particular case, baka iibahin na nila yung storya sa Biblia. They would probably not allow David to fight with Goliath,” said Vargas.

“Sana huwag naman. No matter how small David is, allow the fight, allow the battle. Anyway he already belittled David, so what more can he asked for. Just allow the battle to go on.”


As it is, the rest of Vargas’ team can run in their respective positions, namely  Albee Benitez of badminton (1st vice president), former General Lucas Managuelod (2nd vice president) and Sonny Barrios of basketball (treasurer).

Ting Ledesma of table tennis on Tuesday formally withdrew his candidacy as auditor, saying the paper his filed before the POC without his proper consent.

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