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Appeals court denies POC request for TRO

The Court of Appeals denied on Tuesday a request for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) filed by the Philippine Olympic Committee on a decision by a Pasig court for the POC to hold elections anew for the positions of President and Chairman of the said organization.

In a decision penned by Associate Justice Maria Filomena D. Singh of the Eleventh Division of the Appellate Court, and concurred in by Division Chairman Justice Ramon M. Bato Jr. And Senior Member Justice Edwin D. Sorongon, the Court said “the court finds no ground for the issuance of a TRO.”

The case stemmed from the disqualification of Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP) president Ricky Vargas and Cong. Abraham Tolentino of the Integrated Cycling Federation of the Philippines as candidates for president and chairman, respectively, in the 2016 elections of the Philippine Olympic Committee.

This allowed former Rep. Jose Cojuangco Jr. to run unopposed for the presidency.

There was no qualified candidate for chairman.

Vargas and Tolentino went to court to challenge their disqualification which was based on the provision in the POC by-laws requiring a candidate to be an “active member of the General Assembly.”

Vargas claimed that the POC Committee on Elections erred in their interpretation of the clause. The committee had said that active membership meant attending the General Membership meetings.

The Pasig court under Judge Ma. Gracia Cadiz-Casaclang ruled that not only was the interpretation wrong, but that the committee on elections had no authority to interpret the by-laws. They were only supposed to organize and supervise the elections.

The POC then went to the Court of Appeals since the lower court’s ruling is immediately executory. Their only relief was an appeal and a possible TRO.

mb.com