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Romasanta tells POC to follow court order


Joey Romasanta asked the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) to uphold the rule of law by calling for an election between incumbent POC president Jose “Peping” Cojuangco and boxing chief Ricky Vargas on Feb. 23.

A member of the POC executive committee and president of two national sports associations, Romasanta yesterday said the Olympic council can still appeal the decision but it should abide by the court order rather than run the risk of being cited for contempt.
There are two legal options available to the POC.
First, the POC should seek a temporary restraining order (TRO), not only to prevent the election from happening, but also to give the court an ample time to re-visit the merits of the case and evaluate if the decision rendered by the lower court is just and fair.
Then, it can file a petition before the Court of Appeals and dribble the case all the way to the Supreme Court, a lengthy process that would render the High Court’s decision moot and academic since Cojuangco’s term would lapse right after the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Either way, Romasanta said the POC should follow the rule of law.
“I do not agree that we should defy the court order,” said Romasanta, adding that the POC should still submit itself to local court despite being under the umbrella of the International Olympic Committee.
“We have to adhere and comply with the lawful order of the court without prejudice to usage of any appropriate legal remedy that may be available.”
Cojuangco and the POC executive council are set to sit down in a crucial meeting at 1 pm today to tackle the legal remedy available.
Romasanta said their lawyer, Atty. Addison Castro, would be in attendance to discuss the status of the court order, explain its implications and bring up the legal options available to them.
He, however, added that whatever option their legal counsel would suggest, they should be prepared to call for an election in accordance to the order by the lower court.
“Whatever legal steps we take, we should still be prepared to call for an election,” said Romasanta, who bagged his position after posting a landslide victory over Albee Benitez in the POC elections last year.
“If our motion for a temporary restraining order would be denied, we have no choice but to hold an election. Yes, we can still file a petition before the Court of Appeals, but the fact remains that we still have to call for an election in accordance to the order of the court.”
“Remember that only a TRO can prevent the election from happening. If the court denies our TRO, there would definitely be an election on Feb. 23. And we have to be prepared for that.”

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