GTK stays as POC memberBy Ronnie Nathanielsz
Philippine Daily Inquirer
When Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association president Go Teng Kok was ousted as a member of the Philippine Olympic Committee, there was considerable press coverage.
The POC’s rump resolution was made without due process as required by the Olympic body’s constitution as well as the specific provisions under the International Olympic Committee charter.
For some inexplicable reason, when Go obtained a temporary restraining order (TRO) from Pasig Regional Trial Court judge Rodolfo R. Bonifacio, the story was apparently ignored.
That TRO enjoined and restrained POC president Jose “Peping” Cojuangco Jr., chair Monico Puentevella, secretary general Steve Hontiveros and Mark Joseph “from implementing the questioned ouster of Go as a member of the POC general assembly.”
We wish to try and correct the situation, and to be fair to Go as well as the reading public by providing details of the decision.
In granting the petition of Go for a TRO, Bonifacio ruled that “from the evidence on record … it would appear that petitioner (Go) will suffer great and irreparable injury should the implementation of his ouster as a member of the POC general assembly proceed unless restrained.”
Bonifacio said that “in order to maintain the status quo pending the hearing on the application for a writ of preliminary injunction, the respondent (POC officials) and all persons and agents acting on their behalf or behest are hereby enjoined and restrained from implementing the questioned ouster” of Go.
The judge set the hearing on the application of a writ of preliminary injunction for Sept. 26. However, for reasons known only to them, the POC officials and their counsel did not appear in court despite proper notice.
Their non-appearance prompted Go to move that the POC officials had waived the presentation of their evidence.
In what was referred to as a judicial affidavit, Go argued that even the due process clause of the Philippine Constitution was also violated when the POC railroaded his expulsion.
Bonifacio noted that, “to be entitled to an injunctive relief, the petitioner (Go) must show that there exists a right to be protected and the acts against which the injunction is directed are violations of the right.”
Bonifacio ruled that there was “good ground” to grant Go’s prayer for a writ of preliminary injunction which he did, demonstrating indeed that the rule of law shall prevail and no individual shall be deprived of the right to due process.
The athletics chief, who has served for 21 years and whose athletes bagged the most number of gold medals in the 2009 Southeast Asian Games in Laos, may not be a paragon of virtue. But the law does not discriminate in ensuring that justice overrides all other considerations, including political affiliations, power and wealth.
Rather than gloat over his victory in court, Go very correctly maintained that he was humbled by the grant of the TRO followed by the injunction and felt that in the end, justice had prevailed.
More from this Column:
- Donaire putting a lot on the line in next bout
- GTK stays as POC member
- Philippine bets don’t deserve nasty comments
- Nietes fulfills a dream
- Let’s wish Nietes the best
Tags: Go Teng Kok , Jose “Peping” Cojuangco Jr. , Mark Joseph , Monico Puentevella , Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association , Philippine Olympic Committee , Philippines , POC , Politics , Sports