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POC PRESIDENT ?PEPING? COJUANGCO MAKES A MOCKERY OF THE LAW


PhilBoxing.com



Jose Cojuangco.
President Aquino?s uncle, Philippine Olympic Committee president Jose ?Peping? Cojuangco continues to defy the courts and make a mockery of the law in an effort to remove the opposition to his campaign for a third term as POC president.

The three-man committee tasked to oversee the elections scheduled on November 30 which is headed by former congressman Concoy Chavez, a known ally of Cojuangco, ?Peping? and includes Ateneo?s Ricky Palou and Brother Bernie Oca of La Salle, has arbitrarily ruled that Philippine Amateur Track & Field Association and Karate-do president Go Teng Kok is ineligible to run against Cojuangco claiming that he was declared persona non grata by the POC executive committee and expelled by the general assembly and that to allow him to run would ?do more harm than good.?

Top Rank promoter Bob Arum had a line for this failure of judgment ? ?three blind mice!?

Apparently the three members of the so-called POC Comelec believe that ignoring lawful decisions of the courts ? including the Supreme Court which is tasked with ruling even on Constitutional issues ? would do no harm.

When Go Teng Kok was ousted by the POC he did what any Filipino had the right to do ? seek redress through the courts.

Go Teng Kok took his case to the Regional Trial Court of Pasig where Judge Rodolfo R. Bonifacio of Branch 159 initially granted Go?s request for a Temporary Restraining Order and later on issued a writ of preliminary injunction in which ?the respondent POC officials and agents acting on their behalf or behest were enjoined and restrained from implementing the questioned ouster.?

The distinguished Judge cited the lack of due process and violations of the POC and IOC rules regarding expulsion.

Cojuangco, POC chairman Monico Puentevella, secretary general Steve Hontiveros went to the Supreme Court and sought to overturn the Pasig RTC decision which upheld Go Teng Kok as both PATAFA and Karate-do president.

The Supreme Court in a decision penned by no less than the Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno as acting member in the absence of Justice Diosdado Peralta who was on leave, dismissed the Cojuangco petition.

In what has been perceived as an affront to the highest court of the land Cojuangco said the POC will not honor a TRO or allow any government institution to stop the elections which is sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee.

Cojuangco told the media ?It?s (the TRO) a form of government intervention and we could face suspension from the IOC.?

He bluntly claimed that ?A TRO is not applicable in proceedings such as the POC elections. The exercise is governed by the IOC and nothing else.?

What Cojuangco fails to admit is that the procedure by which he and his group engineered the ouster of Go Teng Kok was not in consonance with the rules and regulations of the IOC and in fact a clear violation of the IOC charter.

The charter states that any individual has the right to be heard by the IOC (in this case POC) body competent to apply a measure or sanction such individual.

Importantly it states ?the right to be heard in the sense of this provision includes the right to be acquainted with the charges and the right to appear personally or submit a defense in writing? which was never accorded Go Teng Kok.

Initially, the POC claimed that they had not received a copy of the Supreme Court decision when in fact the lawyer of Cojuangco received a copy served on him by the Sheriff. Later on when the evidence came out, the POC officials admitted they had received a copy.

The position that a court decision is a manifestation of government interference is hogwash. In fact the case of the IOC threat to suspend India was cited reportedly by Chavez and Cojuangco. But it had nothing to do with a court decision.

The suspension was anchored on government guidelines/sports code which put a cap on the tenure of office bearers in the Indian Olympic Association as well as their age.

As a matter of interest, the age limit was 70 and the tenure two terms. If a similar provision was applied in the Philippines, ?Peping? Cojuangco would be disqualified.

When the IOC suspended Ghana, again government interference had nothing to do with the courts of law. The IOC?s decision was prompted by the Ghana government?s appointment of sports federation leaders.

The case of Pakistan centered around the Pakistan Sports Board by which the government made a few changes in the rules unilaterally, which gave it a free hand to intervene in the affairs of the federations (the NSAs).

According to one of these amendments, the PSB was empowered to ?approve, amend and repeal the constitution of national sports federations while another amendment said that the PSB could ?potentially take sanctions against office bearers to impose tenure restrictions for all office bearers of the national sports organizations.

A third amendment was that it restricted the national sports federations president, secretary and treasurer from holding office for more than two years.

The IOC as well as the Olympic Council of Asia demanded the elimination of the controversial clauses. However, regarding the national sports policy restriction, it empowered the national sports federations general council to decide to decide on the term of their key office bearers and not the government.

The IOC and OCA declared that the limitation of the number of terms was an issue was an internal matter which would fall under the jurisdiction of each national sports organization and must not be imposed by government authorities.

President Cojuangco is well aware of what happened in the controversy between the defunct Basketball Association of the Philippines and the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas when the BAP did not accept the SBP and, according to FIBA itself, ?fought this through the legal system in the Philippines and later in the Court of Arbitration for Sports in Lausanne, Switzerland.?

FIBA said ?BAP went through all instances and finally also lost to the Supreme Court.?

It said the Court of Arbitration for Sport rejected BAP?s appeal and supported FIBA?s actions and decisions to officially recognize the SBP.?

There are many other cases which underscore the underlying theme wherein the Charter specifically states that the National Olympic Committees ?must preserve their autonomy and resist all pressures of any kind, including but not limited to political, legal, religious or economic pressures which may prevent them from complying with the Olympic Charter.?

The decisions of the RTC and the Supreme Court certainly do not reflect pressure but rather a respect for the rule of law and due process enshrined in both the IOC and POC charter.

When Cojuangco and his group sought a reversal of the RTC decision before the Supreme Court they effectively submitted themselves to the jurisdiction of the court and are duty bound to respect its decision, unfavorable though it may be. That is the essence of law and justice.

Indeed, if the court?s are now alleged to be a manifestation of alleged government interference then the POC president himself is guilty of abetting such interference by seeking redress before the courts.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Ronnie Nathanielsz.


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