Clamor grows for Pangilinan to seek POC postBy June Navarro
Philippine Daily Inquirer
There’s a growing clamor for the Most Valuable Patron of Philippine sports to take over the management of the Philippine Olympic Committee.
POC spokesperson Joey Romasanta confirmed yesterday that several national sports associations are amenable to a plan to install tycoon Manny V. Pangilinan either as president or chair of the national Olympic body.
Romasanta said POC president Jose “Peping” Cojuangco Jr. is open to a compromise should Pangilinan agree to the call of the NSAs.
“A workable arrangement can always be discussed,” said Romasanta. “I hope MVP would heed the clamor. He would be a blessing to Philippine sports.”
Seeking a third straight term as POC chief, Cojuangco has no challengers yet in the POC elections slated Nov. 30.
“Cong Peping is open to a compromise if it’s for the good of the POC,” said Romasanta. “Like his businesses, MVP can manage the POC professionally.”
Pangilinan, a telecommunications magnate who also has vast interests in utilities, health care, highway maintenance and mining, among others, is the president of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas and chair of the Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines.
He is also a generous supporter of badminton, taekwondo, cycling, tennis, running and football through his MVP Sports Foundation.
In the absence of a challenger, Cojuangco could get a fresh four-year mandate from the POC general assembly by acclamation, just like in 2004 when he first took over the body.
For an election to push through, though, three-fourths of the POC’s 43 voting members should call for the poll exercise.
Cojuangco won the 2008 POC polls, 21-19, over former shooting head Art Macapagal.