Former boxing association president Manny Lopez may not be able to challenge Jose 'Peping' Cojuangco Jr. for the Philippine Olympic Committee presidency because of a technicality.
Lopez, who has indicated a desire to run but has not officially thrown his hat into the ring, appears not to be qualified to run as he is not an incumbent president of a national sports association.
Under POC election rules, candidates for the top POC post must be an incumbent NSA president of an Olympic sport.
Under this rule, Lopez is not qualified as he is not an NSA president although he served as president of the Amateur Boxing Association from 1993 to 2008.
Currently, Lopez is secretary general of the handball association and ABAP vice president. He also served as chief of mission of the Philippine delegation to the London Olympic Games.
The election rules were disseminated during yesterday's POC board meeting where all indications point to another run by Cojuangco who is seeking a third four-year term. The election is set on Nov. 30.
Under section 11, Article VII of the POC by-laws, "the Chairman and the President of the POC must have at least four years experience as NSA president of an Olympic sport, provided that they must be elected from any of the incumbent national sport association President representing an Olympic sport and provided, further, that they have been active members of the General Assembly for two years at the time of their election."
Last Tuesday, the POC leadership reached out to telecom tycoon Manny V. Pangilinan to participate in the November polls with Cojuangco reportedly offering the presidency or the position of chairman to Pangilinan.
That offer, however, was not discussed yesterday and there was no indication of Cojuangco showing signs of leaving his post.
Also, the offer did not come from Cojuangco but from his associates who did not say whether they were authorized by the POC president to make the offer.