Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP) President Ricky Vargas announced that he would challenge incumbent Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) President Jose Cojuangco Jr. in the upcoming POC election on November 25.
Vargas and his supporters will go to the POC office in Pasig City today to file his certificate of candidacy. Vargas is one of the trusted allies of businessman and sports patron Manny V. Pangilinan.
“For a better Philippine sports landscape, I will run for the POC president,” Vargas told The Manila Times in a phone interview on Sunday. “The unified sports leaders have asked if I can lead them. Now, I already accepted it although it is tough.”
Last week, Philippine Football Federation President Mariano Araneta abandoned his plan to run as POC president to support Vargas.
There will be 43 voting members in the POC election, 40 of them are national sports associations (NSAs).
Tagaytay Representative and PhilCycling President Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino, one of the supporters of Vargas, also expressed his desire to run for chairman or vice-president. “Tomorrow (Monday), we will announce our ticket,” said Tolentino in a separate interview. “It’s time for a change.”
Cojuangco, who first won the POC election unopposed in 2004, is seeking for a fourth consecutive term. He beat Art Macapagal by just two points during the 2008 election to retain his post. In 2012, he ran unopposed again to secure his third straight term as president.