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After POC points win, Bambol sets for a KO

The big news on the election of a new president in the Philippine Olympic Committee has brought a smile to those who truly care for poor Philippine sports.

Forget about new dawns, overdue changes and other platitudes.

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Rep.  Abraham “Bambol” Tolentinio, the new POC president, readily set out to tackle problems besetting preparations for this year’s Southeast Asian Games which the country is hosting Nov. 30 to Dec. 11

Tolentino also called for an immediate get-together and meeting to clear ambiguity within the POC board.

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“We’ve to settle our differences and move forward,” Tolentino told the Inquirer’s Jun Navarro.

The result of the vote for the top POC post on Sunday—24 for Tolentino and 20 for Philip Juico—cannot count as a knockout if it were in boxing.

Insiders would however bare the voting was closer than the final score indicated.

“There were last-minute turncoats (“Me mga balimbing”)  one reliable source informed.

“All in the game,” a visibly tousled Juico said. “You win some, you  lose  some.”

Tolentino showed up for the vote vibrant in a fresh barong, his famous knobby forehead luminous.

He heard Mass with his family on Sunday, voting day.

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“I told them this is my second family, the sports community,” Tolentino said.

For the record, Tolentino has been a main player in the fight for changes in the dormant POC setup of old.

He was singled out as a guardian angel, a top defender by Ricky Vargas in that messy period when a faction identified with former POC head Peping Cojuangco was pestering and trying to push Vargas out.

Vargas had openly decried what he called the dark culture inside the old POC.

Said  Tolentino. “We will pursue the programs and reforms set out by Mr. Vargas.”

Vargas, who had sought and won the POC presidency from Peping Cojangco, eventually resigned. He was seen congratulating Tolentino after the voting at the Century Park Manila on Sunday.

Tolentino, a tested warrior, is son of the  legendary Mayor Isaac Tolentino, dubbed the Father of Tagaytay.

As mayor of Tagaytay, Bambol Tolentino spearheaded the city’s rapid modernization.

“We’re here to serve, not to be served,” he declared.

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TAGS: Abraham “Bambol” Tolentinio, Philippine Olympic Committee
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