Things finally came to a head last June 18 when Ricky Vargas tendered his irrevocable resignation as President of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC). Finally fed up with the prevailing culture of schemes and backstabs within the POC Board, Vargas decided to simply walk away from it all.
Immediately, a triumphant First Vice President Joey Romasanta assumed command, assuring the public that all was well, with the coup pals now finally back at the helm.
Or so he thought.
POC Chairman Bambol Tolentino doused cold water on Joey’s gleeful dance, questioning his qualification for the position of President. And for good reason. Article VII, Section 11 of the POC By-laws declares that: The Chairman and the President of the POC must have had at least 4 years experience as NSA President of an Olympic Sport at the time of his election as POC Chairman or President; provided, that they must be elected from any of the incumbent NSA Presidents representing an Olympic Sport, and provided, further, that they have been an active member of the POC General Assembly for two consecutive years at the time of their election.
Romasanta cannot qualify for the position as President for two reasons. First, he has not reached 4 years as President of either the defunct Karate Association which he mishandled (leading to its eventual kickout by its International Federation), or with the Larong Volleyball ng Pilipinas Inc. (of which he is now Vice President of). Note that the rule is emphatic about being President for AN Olympic sport. He didn’t make 4 years in either sport. Bob Bachmann, the coup pals’ chief apologist, tried to be ‘pilosopo’, saying the Karate and Volleyball years should be added together. A discredited stint as President in karate (stripped of recognition by its International Federation due to fund mismanagement), plus a Vice Presidential stint in Volleyball (not as President). Preposterous at best.
Second, Romasanta is not the incumbent President of the LVPI. It is Peter Cayco. Seeing this, Romasanta out of nowhere claimed that Cayco resigned in June 12, qualifying him for Vargas’ resignation in June 18. How convenient. How very timely. How totally absurd! Seriously now, if Cayco had resigned on June 12, a proper correspondence should have been sent to the POC by now and properly acknowledged by the same. Thirteen days and no one knew about it? No verbal message, no written note just like the resignation letter of the Board they require now. Not even a simple phone call sent to the POC? Who can attest to the resignation? Romasanta? Cayco? Who else? Can we get these ‘honorable’ people to take a lie-detector test please? Perhaps that will help people get over this issue.
And then the coup pals.
How do you gain respect for these people when you see them take their word of honor so lightly? After heeding the call of the General Assembly to resign in order to attain unity and a fresh mandate for the next leadership, these coup pals retract on their palabra-de-honor – which is clearly not precious to them – and hide behind a technicality, the need for a written resignation. The entire POC witnessed them say they were resigning for the good of the organization. Next, they cower like little mice, saying their word was no good. By the way, Cayco should have been required one too, if he had truly resigned from the LVPI.
How do you believe in these so-called leaders when they can backtrack on their words so easily? How do you trust these people when they themselves have a long list of offenses that remain unresolved to this day? Don’t you wonder about how they will manage the SEA Games when we know their sterling track record in fund mismanagement?
Coup pals, your credibility has long been eroded. By choosing to cling on to power despite the very strong calls for change, by using technicalities just so you can perpetuate yourselves in power, by forcing yourselves on us when the country’s performance has clearly gone down the drain during your time, you and your kind are only sinking deeper in the quicksand of shame.
Cut now, and cut cleanly. Or be prepared to go down in history as the tyrants of Philippine Sports.
For more on the struggles of Philippine Sports, please read: