Ricky Vargas and his camp said that they would file a motion for reconsideration after the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) disqualified the boxing chief from the POC presidential race in November.
“We are appealing that the decision to disqualify Ricky Vargas from running as POC president substantially on the ground that it lacks due process,” said lawyer Chito Salud, Vargas’ legal counsel, in a statement sent to The Manila Times.
Salud cited lack of due process, both procedural and substantive, as the basis of their appeal.
“First, the decision was made without any objection or opposition from a known third party. Second, it was hastily rendered without the basic requisite hearing having been accorded to Vargas,” he stressed.
Salud added that Vargas’ disqualification was made public through verbal declaration instead of a written resolution specifying and explaining the ground for the exclusion.
According to the POC, the decision to disqualify Vargas and Abraham Tolentino who wants to run as POC chairman was based on Article 7, Section 11 of the POC constitution requiring that a candidate should be “an active member of the POC general assembly for two consecutive years at the time of their election.”
Vargas is the current president of the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP) while Tolentino is the PhilCycling president.
“Without such written ineligibility order, the decision is deemed to be based on myopic and unsubstantiated interpretation of the words “active member” in the POC general assembly,” Salud added.
Salud explained that the term “active member” is at best a nebulous eligibility requirement that has been left undefined by a clear cut set of parameters and criteria set in the POC by-laws.
“The election committee, however, chose to limit the meaning and measure of a member’s activity solely to attendance and physical presence at the general assembly. This is deficient,” he pointed out.
Salud explained that being an active member means more than just being present at the general assembly.
“The arbitrary and whimsical interpretation applied by the election committee unjustly prejudices the substantive rights of the ABAP and Ricky Vargas. It is too simplistic. In the end, it is our athletes and NSAs who shall invariably be deprived of their right to a free and fair democratic exercise in hopes of reinvigorating Philippine sports,” Salud concluded.
The deadline for filing of appeals will be on November 2.