POC Spokesperson airs side on ousted Romasanta's claims

Mark Escarlote on May 28, 2019 12:34 PM
POC Spokesperson airs side on ousted Romasanta's claims
Philippine Olympic Committee communications director Ed Picson made clarifications on issues claimed by ousted board member Joey Romasanta.

Philippine Olympic Committee communications director Ed Picson in a statement made clarifications on issues claimed by an ousted board member regarding the actions made by POC President Ricky Vargas during Monday's General Assembly. 

Picson on Tuesday reacted to the statements claimed by POC 1st vice president Joey Romasanta that the appointments made by Vargas including the shakedowns on some key positions in the POC.

Romasanta, who was removed from his position as delegation head to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, said that Vargas' sacking of board members from their committee spots and appointments of their replacements were 'invalid without the approval of the Executive Board.' 

Picson said that Vargas' appointments were valid. 

"The appointing authority as provided for by the POC by-laws is the President," said Picson. "Yes, the by-laws say that his appointments are subject to the approval of the board. But that doesn't mean his appointments are not valid."

Picson cleared that Vargas as president has the authority to appoint officials.

"The Executive Board is not the appointing authority, it is the President. Ergo, the president's appointments are valid until rejected by the Board in a validly convened meeting," he said.

Vargas stripped Romasanta and four other board members from their committee positions for 'loss of trust and confidence.'

The POC head during the general assembly also announced the withdrawal of the appointments of Robert Bachmann as chair of membership committee, former president Peping Cojuangco as constitutional amendments committee chairman, Southeast Asian Games chef de mission Monsour del Rosario and deputy CDM Charlie Ho.

He replaced Bachmann with Gen. Lucas Managuelod, Cojuangco with Alberto Agra, Del Rosario with Philippine Sports Commission chairman Butch Ramirez and Romasanta with POC chairman Bambol Tolentino.

"This also underscores the executive functions of the president. Mr. Vargas pointed this out when he affirmed his appointment of Ms. Karen Caballero as Deputy Secretary General. The Board Members led by Messrs Cojuangco and Romasanta audaciously “withdrew” the appointment of Caballero and banned her for appointment to any other position in the POC," said Picson. "They have no right to do that."

"Pres Ricky reminded them that he was the one who hired her, and he is the only one who could fire her. The job of the Executive Board, insofar as presidential appointments are concerned, ended when they approved  the president's  appointments (which they did last year in Caballero's case)."

Picson also made clear that Vargas called for an early election on January 2020 not to determine if he has the support of the members of the general assembly.

"President Ricky Vargas proposed early elections in January 2020 NOT because he wanted a showdown to see who had more sympathizers in the General Assembly," said Picson.

"He suggested early elections for January because he wanted everyone to focus on the  SEA Games hosting first. And since there are those who want to be in control of the POC, then he said let's not wait for the traditional date of November of the Olympic year to hold elections, let's do it AFTER the SEA Games," Picson's statement continued.

Picson added that Vargas wanted the election early to 'settle down' those who have ambitions for position. 

"The by-laws specify the last Friday of November of the Olympic year as the election date. But Vargas is asking his  lawyers to see if it could be advanced, precisely because of the political mindset of some of the Executive Board members," said Picson.

"But let us work together first for the SEA Games! That should be our primary focus at this time. National pride and reputation are at stake. Then Mr. Romasanta and his friends can have the political exercise they want."

Picson also fired back at Romasanta's statement that Vargas adjourned the general assembly after a non-member moved the adjournment and nobody was allowed to talk. 

"Mr. Romasanta also alleges that the motion to adjourn was made by a non-member of the General Assembly. Again, he is sorely mistaken," Picson cleared. "The movant was Atty. Wharton Chan, the Secretary-General of Kickboxing."

"While Kickboxing is not a Regular Member, they are an Associate Member which allows them to  participate in the proceedings of the General Assembly and the right to make motions. They however, are not allowed to vote."

Picson also made some scathing remarks on the people Vargas felt are stalling the Olympic body's smooth running.

"The difference in the mindset of Mr. Vargas and the misguided members of the Board is patently clear. Ricky Vargas wants to concentrate on the SEA Games while the other side is bent on a power play," he said.

"These were the same people who were responsible for the sad state of Philippine sports for over a decade until Vargas took over last year."


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