Romasanta is rightful POC president — Adalem

There is hope in Philippine sports despite the newest controversy brought about by the sudden resignation of Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Ricky Vargas.

But athletes and officials should come together now and set aside their differences “with the 30th Southeast Asian Games in Manila only five months from now.”

Listen to Philippine Handball Federation secretary-general Dr. Ernesto Jay Adalem.

Dr. Jay Adalem (R) talks on the current changes made on leadership of PH Sports at TOPS.
Dr. Jay Adalem (R) talks on the current changes made on leadership of PH Sports at TOPS.

“There is nothing wrong with the change of leadership now. Kung nawala yung isa, may papalit naman. Tuloy-tuloy lang dapat yung paghahanda natin para sa SEA Games,” said Adalem during the 27th “Usapang Sports” by the Tabloids Organization in Philippine Sports {TOPS) at the National Press Club in Intramuros.

“Let’s tell our athletes na huwag hayaang maging hindrance sa training and preparations nila yung mga gusot na nangyayari ngayon. Don’t be annoyed by the situation we have now,” Adalem told sportswriters during the weekly forum sponsored by the Philippine Sports Commission, National Press Club, PAGCOR, Community Basketball Association, and HG Guyabano Tea Leaf Drinks.

While he lamented the sudden resignation of Vargas, Adalem welcomed former Gintong Alay head Joey Romasanta as the new POC president based on the rule of succession in the POC by-laws.

“In my humble opinion, I think it is only fitting that Mr. Romasanta will take over as president when Mr. Vargas resigned. I am not a lawyer but I think Mr. Romasanta should be allowed to take over for now. There may be some loopholes, but I am sure there is also a legal remedy to resolve this issue,” explained Adalem.

“Tumigil muna sila sa politika. Kesa mag election na naman agad, let Joey handle things. Sanay na naman sya. Alam na nya ang gagawin,” said Adalem.

“Being the former SBP Chairman and now ABAP head, kahit naman sana si Mr. Vargas alam ang gagawin dyan. Depende sa tao. Pero kung ayaw na nya, wala tayo magagawa.”

Adalem, who also served as Cluster Head during the 2011 SEA Games, said Romasanta should already be the POC president when the original election was nullified and the court ordered a new election.

“He (Romasanta) is already the VP even before the court-ordered election where Vargas defeated (then POC head Peping) Cojuangco.”

Adalem also branded “as fake news” an earlier report that Romasanta and some POC officials are proposing to move the staging of the SEA Games from Nov, 30-Dec. 11 to the first quarter of 2020.

“That’s not true. Kung walang tiyak na tao ang nagsasabi, baka fake news. Mahirap magsalita lalo na baka ma-derail lang yun mga plano sa SEA Games.”

Adalem lamented the fact that a lot of sports officials now are deep into politics in their respective NSAs.

“The purpose of the NSAs is actually to propagate sports and not politics. In our history of sports, a lot of people are here for politics, not to help sports. Ang importante lagi dapat ay yung mga atleta,” added Adalem, also the president of the National Athletic Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (NAASCU).