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TRO on POC polls government intervention

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MANILA, Philippines — A temporary restraining order from the courts won’t stop the Philippine Olympic Committee from holding its elections on Nov. 30 at Alabang Country Club in Muntinlupa, POC president Jose “Peping” Cojuangco Jr. said Thursday.

The POC head said the local Olympic body will not honor a TRO or allow any government institution to stop the elections, which is sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee.

“It’s (the TRO) a form of government intervention and we could face suspension from the IOC,” said Cojuangco reacting to reports that athletics chief Go Teng Kok will file for a TRO if the POC election committee disqualifies Go’s candidacy.

“A TRO is not applicable in proceedings such as the POC elections. The exercise is governed by the IOC and nothing else,” he added.

Go, president of the Philippine Amateur and Track and Field Association, said he would seek relief from the courts once the POC files a motion for reconsideration before the high tribunal over the issue of Go’s eligibility as POC candidate.

The secretariat of the POC received the official copy of the Supreme Court decision on Tuesday that upheld the ruling of the Pasig Regional Trial Court that Go cannot be declared persona non grata by the POC general assembly.

The POC election committee, chaired by former congressman and volleyball head Victorico Chaves, earlier declared that an authenticated copy of the SC decision would suffice for Go to file his candidacy.

However, Ricky Palou, member of the POC election committee, said they would wait for the SC resolution if the POC proceeds with its motion for reconsideration.

Adding that such process would at least take 15 days, Palou said the election committee would meet on Monday to discuss scenarios, including the possible disqualification of Go.


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