Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) President Jose Cojuangco Jr. said that in the event the International Olympic Committee (IOC) suspended the POC, the country could also lose the hosting rights of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) World Cup in 2023.
FIBA is under the IOC umbrella.
Cojuangco reiterated his aim to fight for the autonomy of the POC after a board meeting last Thursday at the POC office.
Last December 1, Judge Maria Gracia Cadiz-Casaclang of RTC branch 155 ruled that the POC executive board has abused its authority in disqualifying Alliance of Boxing Associations in the Philippines president Ricky Vargas and PhilCycling president Abraham Tolentino to run in the last POC election. The court ordered the POC to hold a new election on February 23.
Cojuangco opined that government’s “intervention” might result in the POC being suspended by the IOC.
“What I want is to clarify the status of the POC because if we make a mistake here, and that is why I’m really sticking my neck out and really fighting this out is because I don’t want people to say that Peping Cojuangco as president allowed this to happen and destroy the POC,” Cojuangco said.
“As POC president, I have to support this all the way. I want to make sure that we are recognized by the IOC because maybe, you know these people who are pushing the other side might not understand that if we do not get the consent of the IOC, we might lose the hosting rights of the FIBA World Cup in 2023,” he added.
Tolentino said that Cojuangco is just bluffing.
“He’s just trying to scare the opposition. There is no need to discuss the board resolution, what we need to determine is the mechanics of the election. The court order states that a new election must be held on February 23, and we must follow that as law abiding citizens,” Tolentino said in Filipino.