Cycling: PhilCycling defies POC order on May 9 elections

May 4, 2009 1:31 am 

MANILA, May 3 –The PhilCycling is defying an order by the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) that an election be held to determine a “new” set of officers for the national sports association (NSA) of cycling.

“We are extremely insulted and humiliated with your [POC executive committee] resolution and declare that we are not participating whatsoever in that 'election' because we sincerely believe that it is a practice in absurdity, participation of which relegates us to the lowest of our humanity,” wrote PhilCycling president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino in a strongly-worded letter dated April 27 to the POC.

“What the POC precisely desires to attain is to prevent us from participation since some clubs are not members of the 2003 stagnation list, in accordance with the 2003 list that elected [former PhilCycling] president Bert Lina, and which list we have in our possession,” he added.

The POC executive committee has set for May 9 an election to what it claims as a solution to solve the “impasse” in the PhilCycling, whose leadership is being contested by a group led by Chicago-based cyclists patron Rolando Hiso.

The POC, in its minute resolution of April 15, said: “In order to break the leadership impasse in your Federation, and pursuant to the decision taken by the POC Executive Board during its meeting [today], considering your respective position papers, it is recommended that ICFP [Integrated Cycling Federation of the Philippines, PhilCycling's official name registered with the Securities and Exchange Commision], conduct its election in the morning of 9 May 2009 at the Amoranto Sports Complex in Quezon City, Metro Manila, utilizing the list of voters that participated in the last Cycling elections in 2003.”

The PhilCycling has elected its 15 board members—which in turn elected Tolentino president—last January 16 at the Amoranto Sports Complex.

Prior to that, on December 13, 2008, the PhilCycling conducted a general membership meeting in Tagaytay City to scrutinize, evaluate and update its club membership, basing its action on the 2003 list of (club) voters as well as its current roster that was cleansed of inactive clubs and strengthened by new active organizations nationwide.

However, also on December 13, a breakaway group abruptly and simultaneously held its election at the Philippine Sports Commission venue manager's office at Amoranto.

Hiso was elected president in that exercise.

The POC has claimed the PhilCycling violated its constitution and by-laws by holding its election beyond December 31, 2008, which is specified in its charter. The setting of the January 16, 2009, elections, however, was supported by a resolution of the NSA's former board.

Efforts were evident to prevent Tolentino, also secretary general of the chess federation, from being recognized by the POC as PhilCycling president.

"This is traceable to the fact that Tolentino ran (and lost) as first vice president under shooting association head Art Macapagal's ticket in the POC's quadrennial elections last November. Former Tarlac congressman Jose Cojuangco Jr. was reelected president in that POC polls.

The ruling, Tolentino stressed, clearly made it apparent that the present leadership of the Philcycling that succeeded Lina, is not qualified simply because they are not members of the 2003 voters' list.

“To ensure that we are not included in the elections, the date [May 9] set is the same date when all of the officers and member clubs [of the PhilCycling] are busy with the conduct of the Padyak Pinoy [cycling Tour].”

The PhilCyclng has sanctioned two major Philippine Tours under the administration of Tolentino—the April 13 to 19 Liquigaz Tour of Luzon (seven stages road race) and the May 8 to 15 Padyak Pinoy Invitational Tour of Champions (eight stages).

The Hiso group, on the other hand, has yet to conduct, stage or sanction a major cycling event amid what the POC calls as an “impasse” in the federation.

To further emphasize the defiance, Tolentino said: “The Philcycling is an entity separate and distinct from the POC. Philcyling is governed by its own rules and laws. It is not governed by the POC. How can it be possible for the POC to demand that the NSA conduct its election?”

The PhilCycling has sought the view of the UCI and its continental arm, the Asian Cycling Confederation, on the issue. (PNA) LOR

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