Although ignored by the opposition, athletics chief Go Teng Kok is not giving up hope for a partnership with the leaders of the group challenging the supporters of Jose “Peping” Cojuangco Jr. in the Philippine Olympic Committee elections.
Go, who is hoping that the POC election committee will allow him to challenge Cojuangco’s bid for a third straight term as head of the local Olympic movement, said it’s about time he and the opposition join forces in the POC polls on Nov. 30 at Alabang Country Club.
“They (opposition) are clamoring for reform. I’m challenging Cojuangco because I also want change,” said Go, longtime president of the Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association, who had earlier announced his decision to face Cojuangco as an independent candidate without the opposition’s support.
Incumbents POC first vice president Manny Lopez and chair Monico Puentevella are the acknowledged leaders of the opposition, which also has boxing chief Ricky Vargas, a top sports lieutenant of sports patron Manny V. Pangilinan, as campaign manager.
“If they (opposition) want, I will step down if I win as POC president and immediately call for another election,” said Go. “I will not participate in that election anymore and let them run the show.”
Go still has to get the nod of the POC election committee headed by former congressman Victorico Chaves and members Ricky Palou of Ateneo and Bro. Bernie Oca of La Salle. The three-man panel reached a consensus on Go’s status last Thursday but decided to defer the announcement tomorrow.
If he is disqualified, Go said he would file a temporary restraining order on Tuesday to stop the POC polls on Friday.
“They are just buying time to prevent me from filing the TRO,” said Go, who remained confident of a victory once he gets the go-signal from the election committee. “They want to stop me from running because they are afraid that I could win.”
The committee had initially asked for an authenticated copy of the Supreme Court decision that dismissed the POC appeal and upheld the ruling of the Pasig Regional Trial Court that Go cannot be considered persona non grata by the POC and is therefore eligible to run.