MANILA,  October 5, 2004  (STAR) By Abac Cordero - Barring any absences or abstentions, Jose "Peping" Cojuangco would need a total of 20 votes to unseat Celso Dayrit as president of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) in November.

The POC elections are scheduled Nov. 27 with a total of 38 votes expected to be cast. Of the total votes, 37 will come from the regular NSAs (national sports associations) and the other one from International Olympic Committee (IOC) representative to the Philippines Frank Elizalde.

Mediamen got hold of the official list of the voting NSAs yesterday. Lawn bowl was included in the list after the sport was played twice in the SEA Games — the first in 1999 in Brunei and the second in 2001 in Jakarta.

Attendance in the SEA Games, Asian Games or the Olympics is just one of the requirements for an NSA to become a voting member of the POC. Then the NSA must formally apply for regular membership before it is considered one.

The 36 other NSAs with voting powers are archery, athletics, badminton, baseball, basketball, billiard-snooker, bodybuilding, bowling, boxing, canoe-kayak, dragon boat, cycling, equestrian, fencing, football, golf, gymnastics, judo, karatedo, lawn tennis, pencak silat, rowing, sailing, sepak takraw, shooting, soft tennis, softball, squash, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, triathlon, volleyball, weightlifting, wrestling and wushu.

There are 10 positions to be contested in the elections: chairman, president, first vice president, second vice president, treasurer, auditor and four directors. The elected president gets to choose and name his secretary-general.

During the 2000 POC elections, Dayrit defeated athletics president Go Teng Kok, 22-11, after three abstentions, for a four-year term.

Cojuangco reportedly has the support of at least 22 NSAs who recently attended his birthday celebration and signed a declaration of their support to the equestrian president.

The men behind Cojuangco’s bid are trying to lure more signatures in the hope of convincing Dayrit to give way and have Cojuangco elected by acclamation. Dayrit has remained silent about the elections but recently declared that he’s running for re-election.

There are 14 other NSAs in the country but with no voting powers within the POC. They are associate members arnis, chess, duckpin, bowling, dancesport, ice-skating and powerlifting: and recognized members aerobics, boardsailing, motorcycle sports, sports climbing, Muay Thai, bridge, underwater hockey and rugby.

Chess is seriously batting for inclusion as regular member but its application is still pending with the POC executive committee which meets later this month to discuss and hopefully decide on the matter. Chess was played in last year’s Vietnam SEA Games.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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