THE Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) hopes to find a lasting solution to the long-standing volleyball controversy with the election of Ramon “Tats” Suzara as president of the newly-formed volleyball association — Philippine National Volleyball Federation Inc. (PNVFI) — at the East Ocean Seafood Restaurant in Parañaque City yesterday.
“We are thankful to all the stakeholders. We’ve been longing for this and the true winner here is Philippine volleyball,” said POC president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino.
Tolentino personally supervised the election as part of the International Volleyball Federation’s (FIVB) request before the World Volleyball Congress on Feb. 5-7.
He said the election of officers held under strict health protocols will lead to FIVB’s official recognition of the country as one of its regular members.
Suzara, who represented the Alliances of Philippine Volleyball Inc. (APVI), also welcomed the election.
“I will do my best as the new president,” said Suzara, who won the POC-supervised elections unchallenged by garnering all 31 votes from the different volleyball stakeholders in the country.
“But I am not the only one (in the new federation). I have the board and the other stakeholders who are there to support. We are all here to uplift Philippine volleyball,” Suzara told reporters present during the election.
Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. (LVPI) secretary general Ariel Paredes was elected as chairman with 30 votes.
Also elected as officers of the new national sports association for volleyball were Arnel Hajan of the Philippine Volleyball Federation (PVF), vice president with 30 votes; Don Caringal of APVI, secretary general with 31 votes; Rod Roque of the LVPI and the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP), treasurer with 31 votes; and Yul Benosa of PVF, auditor with 30 votes.
Elected as board members were Ricky Palou (Premier Volleyball League) with 31 votes; Tony Boy Liao (Spikers’ Turf), 31 votes; Charo Soriano (Beach Volleyball Republic), 30 votes; Karl Chan (PVF), 30 votes; Fr. Vic Calvo (NCAA/Letran, 29 votes; and Carmela Gamboa (Negros Alliance), 28 votes.
The POC representative to the board is Atty. Wharton Chan.
A total of 31 of 32 registered voters cast their votes through a “drive-thru” process at the restaurant’s main entrance.
POC secretary-general Atty. Edwin Gastanes and accreditation and membership committee head Atty. Billy Sumagui supervised the proceedings.