POC President and Cavite Rep. Bambol Tolentino
By Kyle Encarnacion
MANILA — Cavite Representative Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino has taken a prudent path over unsportsmanlike and malicious methods as he seeks reelection for a full four-year team as Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president
“I, being a long-time legislator and public servant, my accomplishments in public service has been my best form of political campaign,” Tolentino said in a letter addressed to his fellow POC members on Tuesday.
“I will not do falsehood in order to win and will remain the same even in the POC elections.”
“It came as a surprise to me that Atty. Clint Aranas and his cohorts are now resorting to ungentlemanly tactics just to win the POC elections,” Tolentino, also the cycling head, said. “I consider these actions as unsportsmanlike, foul, malicious and below-the-belt.”
Aranas and his group sought for the disqualification of Tolentino and his candidate for chairman Tom Carrasco (triathlon), treasurer Cynthia Carrion (gymnastics) and board members Dr. Raul Canlas (surfing) and Dave Carter (judo).
Aranas’s protest filed with the POC’s elections committee alleged that Tolentino, Carrasco and Carrion received allowances from the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee last year, Canlas has been the president of his association for only two years and not the prescribed four years and Carter’s federation having issues with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Tolentino stressed national sports associations (NSAs) supportive of Aranas, his lone opponent for the presidency, are potentially ineligible to vote in the November 27 elections but opted to give everyone the chance to exercise his right in the POC.
“I have gone over the different NSA’s and found some of them to have questionable qualifications to run in any position for this election. I was [suggested] to file a protest and even to have those NSA’s declared non-qualified,” he said.
“However, I decided not to do that because I would like all the NSAs to be heard and be duly represented to cast their votes.”
“I have been in all stages of political preparations for elections and I have never smeared any name or suggest any damaging remarks against my opponents. In that aspect, I also win my opponents’ respect,” he added.
Tolentino stressed in the letter that sorting to character assassination and black propaganda “is not on my list of political arsenal.”
“I am therefore pleading for my opponents to be prudent to preserve the spirit of Olympism and sportsmanship. Let us all deal with qualifications only,” he added. Lawyers, please act like lawyers and stick to the issues. You need not draft your papers that will induce your client to magnify matters that are out of the issue at hand.”
Tolentino said he believes the members of the Election committee are lawyers of high repute.
“I put all my trust on them, they know the rules more than I do,” he said.
The election committee is chaired by Atty.Teodoro Kalaw IV with former International Olympic Committee (IOC) representative to the Philippines Frank Elizalde and University of the Philippines President Danilo Concepcion as members.
Set for November 27, there are 54 voters in the POC elections—51 NSAs, Athletes Commission representatives Hidilyn Diaz and Jhessie Lacuna and IOC representative to the Philippines Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworski. (AI/MTVN)