Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) President Jose Cojuangco Jr. refused to talk about the holding of a new election on February 23 as ordered by the court then prematurely adjourned the POC General Assembly on Wednesday at the Wack Wack Golf and Country Club in Mandaluyong City.
The camp of Cojuangco, led by newly reelected National Chess Federation of the Philippines president Prospero Pichay, said it was not proper to discuss the holding of the new election as it was not part of the agenda and that the POC has not received yet the Court of Appeals (CA) ruling denying the council of a Temporary Restraining Order against the implementation of the Regional Trial Court branch 155’s order.
“We have not received the decision (of the CA) and it is premature to talk about it. Maybe rather than discussing it here, we should not talk about it. This is not included in the agenda,” said Pichay, noting that the CA ruling that the camp of Vargas possesses has no official receipt.
Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP) executive director Ed Picson disagreed saying, “This is a certified true copy. This is a democratic country.”
Amid the argument, Cojuangco adjourned the assembly and left the venue without talking to the media.
“I ruled already, no talking about that case. You talk on your own. I adjourned this meeting,” said Cojuangco.
ABAP president Ricky Vargas accused the long time POC president of delaying the holding of another POC election on February 23 as ordered by the RTC last December.
“He (Cojuangco) just said it’s adjourned. All I’m asking is let us have an election and follow the court order. They said they would wait for the official letter from the court. I think it is all about delaying this whole process and it is very clear to me that they don’t want an election. How can they bring the issue to the Supreme Court? The TRO has been denied and the issue of injunction is going to be discussed,” Vargas told the reporters.
A total of 35 of the 43 national sports associations under the POC attended the assembly.
If the new election will not push through as ordered by the RTC, Cojuangco and his ally POC officials could be cited with contempt of court.
In 2016, Vargas ran as president with lawmaker Abraham Tolentino of PhilCycling as chairman but both were disqualified by the POC election committee for not being actively present during general assemblies.