Palace backs Vargas, Tolentino in POC feud

ABS-CBN Sports on May 29, 2019 06:54 AM
Palace backs Vargas, Tolentino in POC feud
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo released a statement that the Palace supports Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) President Ricky Vargas and POC Chairman Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino regarding the issues the national Olympic body is facing. (ABS-CBN News file photo)

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo in a statement on Tuesday said that Malacanang Palace supports the Philippine Olympic Committee leadership regarding the internal issues it is facing.

“The Palace expresses support to Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) President Ricky Vargas and POC Chairman Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino,” said Panelo.

Vargas on Monday removed some members of the POC board from their respective key committee positions for ‘loss of trust and confidence’ during the national Olympic body’s general assembly.   

[Related story: POC president Vargas removes board members]

POC 1st vice president Joey 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' and called for an election. 

[Related story: POC feud heats up as removed members call for election]

POC communications director Ed Picson aired their side and denied the allegations made by Romasanta. 

[Related story: POC Spokesperson airs side on ousted Romasanta's claims]

The Presidential spokesman called to spare sports from politics and work together for the hosting of the 30th Southeast Asian Games in November.

“We call on everyone to insulate sports from politics,” Panelo said. “The Philippines will be hosting the 30th edition of the Southeast Asian Games this year.”

“We should be together rallying behind and supporting all the Filipino athletes who are set to compete in the games as we extend our world-famous warmth and hospitality to our brothers and sisters in the region who are coming to Manila either to participate and represent or cheer their nations,” the Panelo’s statement ended.

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