AFTER receiving a fresh four-year mandate, Philippine Olympic Committee head Rep. Bambol Tolentino vowed unity and to rally behind the national team seeking nothing less than the country’s first gold medal in the coronavirus-stalled Tokyo Olympics next year.
Tolentino beat archery head Clint Aranas, 30-22, in the elections held yesterday at the East Ocean Palace Restaurant in Parañaque City.
“There is so much work to be done and the training of our athletes was delayed. But with the help of this new team, starting January 1, definitely there will be a lot of changes and surprises,” said Tolentino after the proclamation.
Eight of the 10 elective posts were won by Tolentino’s ticket.
Basketball’s Al Panlilio was elected first vice president over athletics’ Philip Ella Juico, 30-23, fencing and modern pentathlon’s Richard Gomez as second VP over independent Ada Milby, 31-22, gymnastics’ Cynthia Carrion-Norton as treasurer over wushu’s Julian Camacho, 27-22, baseball’s Chito Loyzaga as auditor over weightlifting’s Monico Puentevella, 27-24, and surfing’s Dr. Jose Raul Canlas (36), muay’s Pearl Managuelod (31) and judo’s Dave Carter (27) as board members.
Handball’s Steve Hontiveros, who won his second term as chairman over triathlon’s Tom Carrasco, 28-25, and netball’s Charlie Ho, who placed third among board members with 28 votes, were the only two officials from the Aranas party who made it.
The much-anticipated polls were crafted in coordination with the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious
Diseases (IATF), Department of Health and the LGU.
Tolentino, who was elected POC chief last year following the resignation of boxing chief Ricky Vargas, said there would be a lot of changes and surprises not just for the national athletes but Philippine sports as well.
“Definitely there will be lots of suprises. We’ve shown a lot in just more than a year, what more with these four years to come with this team,” said the Cavite 8th District Representative.
For Panlilio, he said he will focus on athletes.
“I said it before, I’m really just here to serve our athletes. Hopefully, we could work together, govern and be accountable to our athletes. We’re here to serve, and not to be served,” said the SBP president.
Ho promised to give his full support despite being part of the other group.
“First order of the day is for the POC to be united. I will make it a personal mission to unite all the POC because we have to set examples to our athletes and coaches and be a good leader,” said Ho.
A total of 53 of the total 54 voting members exercised their right to suffrage including Rio 2016 silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz, who cast her vote via a sealed ballot or courier.
Sen. Francis Tolentino, Bambol’s brother, and commissioner Ramon Fernandez, who represented the Philippine Sports Commission, were present to observe the polling.