Fearing IOC wrath, POC poll body ditches GoBy June Navarro
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Fearing the wrath of the International Olympic Committee more than a sanction from local courts, the election panel of the Philippine Olympic Committee Monday declared athletics chief Go Teng Kok ineligible to run for POC president.
Ricky Palou, the spokesman and a member of the three-man poll panel, said they disqualified Go because the track and field president had lost his POC membership following a decision by the general assembly to expel him and declare him as “persona non-grata.”
Palou said the election committee acknowledged the decision of the Pasig RTC that Go was not given due process by the POC general assembly. The Supreme Court later upheld the lower court’s decision.
But Palou said the committee expressed apprehension that the court decision is a form of government intervention and could result in the country’s suspension by the IOC.
“We took the court rulings into consideration but the thing is we’re afraid that the IOC would suspend the POC. It’s a form of government intervention,” said Palou. “We considered all things and decided that allowing Go (to run) would create more harm than good.”
The top Ateneo sports official also emphasized that the POC is mandated by the IOC to hold elections on Friday and that doing otherwise could also result in a suspension.
Palou had earlier declared that the election committee would allow Go to run if he could submit a copy of the Supreme Court decision upholding the RTC decision.
When Go came up with the required document, the POC filed an appeal with the Supreme Court which turned it down.
“In the eyes of the IOC, I am a legitimate member of the POC family,” said Go. “I have a Supreme Court decision to back me up. They decided to expel me without due process.”
Go said he would attend the elections on Friday at the Alabang Country Club and could bring along a temporary restraining order to stop the polls.