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Philippine Olympic Committee prepares for special election

By Michael Angelo S. Murillo
Senior reporter

To rid the organization of any leadership issues as well as resolve conflicts within the group, the Philippine Olympic Committee (COP) has decided to hold a special election.

At a news conference on Tuesday at the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) building in the city of Pasay, after an extraordinary assembly that was later declared null and void, the POC said it had agreed to hold an election at least until July 5.

Several members of the executive board also expressed their intention to resign from their positions to clear the air to move forward, including Joey Romasanta as the first vice president.

It has also been announced that the council will function in a "subsistence capacity" until the election.

Romasanta said he had no intention of running as president in the special elections, to shape, he said, "new faces and new ideas" in the organization.

Romasanta took over the presidency of the POC on June 18 following the sudden resignation of Ricky Vargas as president.

I will not be without delicacy. We need new faces, new ideas in POC. We can not go on like this forever because we have a divided POC. The POC is a damaged organization. This is an opportunity to correct all mistakes. This is about the institution, "said Romasanta.

He added, "We did this to be stronger. I have served this country for so long. I have made my mark on Filipino sports. This is the time to give others the opportunity to serve. "

Also offered to resign were POC chairman Abrahan Tolentino, auditor Jonne Go, treasurer Julian Camacho, board members Cynthia Carrion and Clint Aranas and former POC chairman Peping Cojuangco.

The POC leadership issue falls at a crucial time with the country set to host the 30º Southeast Asian Games in five months.

Stakeholders are waiting for their prompt resolution to channel focus and effort into the preparations for the SEA Games.

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