POC chief pledges against 'division' in PH sports
MANILA, Philippines — Philippine Olympic Committee president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino has pledged to wage a high-level campaign that will end the divisive environment in sports.
“We cannot afford more division in Philippine sports,” said Tolentino after gracing the election of the Philippine Canoe Kayak Dragonboat Federation on Sunday at the Century Park Hotel in Manila.
Tolentino, a representative of Cavite’s eighth district, pointed out that Team Philippines has made great strides beginning in the 2018 Asian Games and the country’s hosting of the 30th Southeast Asian Games last year.
“But internal bickering will set us back,” said Tolentino, who personally congratulated newly elected PCKDF president Teresita Uy.
Also elected were Almario Acosta (vice president), Tomas Tamayo (treasurer), Joven Franzuela (secretary general) and board members Arnel Gabutero, Gregorio Galang and head coach Len Escollante.
The forthcoming POC elections scheduled Nov. 27 has generated a strong division within the general assembly of the local Olympic body composed of 51 regular voting national sports associations.
“Whatever happens in the POC elections, we must get behind our leaders and help in charting a viable course for Philippine sports,” said Tolentino, who is running to extend his term until the 2024 Paris Olympics.
The group of Tolentino with triathlon’s Tom Carrasco as chairman, basketball’s Al Panlilio as 1st vice president and fencing’s Richard Gomez as 2nd vice president already filed their certificate of candidacy.
Archery’s Atty. Clint Aranas, who will try his luck against Tolentino, has likewise filed his candidacy along with the members of his ticket, including current POC chairman Steve Hontiveros, athletics’ Philip Ella Juico (1st VP) and rugby’s Ada Milby (2nd VP).
“Let’s focus on what we plan and what we can do for Philippine sports. Let’s not get distracted by personal attacks. What we bring to the table is more important and will impact the future of POC,” said Carrasco, a former POC chairman.
Panlilio, president of Smart Communications and Chief Revenue Officer of PLDT, said their team is about inspiration and motivation.
“Our athletes need the inspiration and motivation that a credible leadership can provide. We need to streamline the assistance the POC can provide not only to the national sports associations, but to the athletes themselves,” said Panlilio.