Hontiveros bats for unifying candidate

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To repair further disharmony brought by a botched proposal to amend its constitution, the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) must work toward coming up with just one candidate for its next president in November and unify the factions in the board.

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That suggestion comes from incumbent POC chair Steve Hontiveros, who was one of those who dumped the proposed age cap for elected officials during their executive board meeting last week and then on Wednesday declared that he won’t be running for a position anymore.

Hontiveros, the 75-year-old longtime bowling boss before he took over handball, said the only way the POC could achieve unity is to have a common candidate.

“If possible, just one candidate,” Hontiveros told the Inquirer. “So that there will be no factions. Nobody has to lose. Nobody has to get hurt.”

Otherwise, Hontiveros added: “We can have elections every week or every month and still come up with the same result, which is a fragmented POC.”

The timing of his statement could be off, though, because Hontiveros is being floated to replace archery’s Clint Aranas as the man to challenge the reelection bid of cycling’s Abraham Tolentino as the body’s president.

But Hontiveros, one of the most influential Filipino sports officials abroad, said he is “100-percent” sure he’s not interested in any position.

“It’s nice to hear that people want me because I’m capable and well-known by international officials,” Hontiveros said. “But let’s not focus on the position. You can help whether you have a position or not.”

National Olympic committees like the POC hold their elections every Olympic year even if, like this year, the Games have been postponed because of the global health crisis. Here the elections are done by secret balloting among 45 voting members.

There lies a big concern because at the rate things are going, the POC is likely to hold elections via Zoom conference due to the quarantine restrictions, which would make it impossible to vote secretly.


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