Vargas seeks TRO

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Association of Boxing Alliances of the Philippines (ABAP) President Ricky Vargas said on Monday that he would seek a temporary restraining order (TRO) within the week after the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) dismissed his appeal on his disqualification to run for POC president on November 25.

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“On Thursday or Friday, we are going to file a case to the public court. We need a third party in this issue because going to the POC is hopeless. We need somebody who will interpret the by-laws of the POC. This is not going to be a government intervention as what they claim,” Vargas told The Manila Times on Monday.

The POC election committee also dismissed the appeal of Tagaytay City Representative and PhilCycling President Abraham Tolentino who intends to run for chairman under Vargas’ ticket.

Tolentino will also bring the case to a court of law.

Vargas’ lawyer Chito Salud, a former Philippine Basketball Association commissioner, said that they already received a formal notice from the POC election committee headed by chairman Frank Elizalde, Bernie Oca and lawmaker Conrado Estrella.

“As soon as possible, we are going to seek a TRO (Temporary Restraining Order) to hear our side,” Salud told The Times via text message. “Mr. Vargas will seek redress in the court of law. He wants an objective and authoritative interpretation of this indistinct eligibility requirement.”

Salud explained that the election committee refused to examine the merits of the arguments raised by Vargas.

“The POC by-laws do not contain any definition of “active member” nor any clear guidelines to determine active membership. The election committee in effect arrogates unto itself the power to amend the POC by-laws without the approval of member National Sports Associations.”

Salud said that the decision of the POC to junk their appeal is expected.

“The narrow-minded and simplistic interpretation of the rules on eligibility is in many ways not surprising,” Salud added. “It only validates our belief that the time for change has come.”

Without Vargas challenging him, incumbent POC President Jose Cojuangco Jr. will run unopposed. Cojuangco, who was first elected POC president in 2004, is seeking for a fourth term.

Cojuangco refused to comment on the issue.

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