Philta faces sanction after ‘invalid’ election

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The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) said the beleaguered Philippine Lawn Tennis Association (Philta) could face sanction for not complying with their previous agreement and for holding its election without a POC observer last Friday.

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POC first vice-president Joey Romasanta explained that the POC would not recognize Philta’s election last Friday at the Rizal Memorial Tennis Center due to insufficient documents that will prove the board members who participated in the election were eligible to vote.

“We are not going to recognize their (Philta) election because until now their documents remained insufficient that’s why we did not send any POC representative yesterday (Friday),” Romasanta told The Manila Times on Saturday.

Last Friday, Philta elected lawyer Antonio Cablitas as president, Martin Misa as vice-president, Edna Olivarez-Nguyen as treasurer and Romeo Magat as secretary-general. The other board members present were Salvador Andrada, Manuel Misa and Pablo Olivarez.

Romasanta said the election was invalid.

“For example, we have no idea how these four board members Antonio Cablitas, Gerard Maronilla, Martin Misa and even Jean Henry Lhuiller became board members of Philta. They still haven’t submitted any documents ever since,” said Romasanta.

“But Philta still pushed with its election even knowing it won’t be recognized because there was no POC observer. Some NSAs (National Sports Associations) will reschedule their election even if they have the entire delegation if ever the POC asks them to do so,” he added.

Romasanta said the POC is still recognizing Parañaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez as Philta president for the meantime. The Olympic body said they would call for a meeting with Olivarez next week before acting on their next move.

The POC official added the country’s tennis body could face sanction if they will not comply with the requirements.

“We have no idea who are the voters and how their officers were elected. The POC could sanction them if this continues,” said Romasanta although he did not mention what kind of sanction would be imposed on Philta.

One possible sanction is suspension as what the POC did to the Basketball Association of the Philippines and Philippine Volleyball Federation, when the two NSAs went through a leadership crisis. The POC withdrew its recognition of the aforementioned NSAs.

During Friday’s election, seven of the 12 board members were present. Absent were Lhuiller, who expressed his intention to run as Philta president before, Randy Villanueva, Julito Villanueva, Olivarez and Gerard Maronilla.

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