MANILA, Philippines -- Eyeing a complete term, Congressman Abraham "Bambol" Tolentino announced Tuesday that he intends to run for re-election as president of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC).
Tolentino was elected in a special poll held in August 2019, after the resignation of former POC president Ricky Vargas. He fulfilled the rest of Vargas' term, which included overseeing the Filipino athletes' campaign in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.
With the POC set to hold its elections in November, Tolentino is now seeking a term of his own. He expects to go up against Clint Aranas, the head of World Archery Philippines, Inc.
"Hindi naman natin tinatago. Definitely, I will run for president, dahil hindi naman full-term ang tinakbuhan ko, I just ran to fill the gap when Mr. Vargas resigned," Tolentino said during Tuesday's Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum.
"'Di ako nangangampanya, (but) yes I will run (for) a complete term," he also said. "Hindi naman complete 'yung nakaraan, pero kahit hindi complete 'yun, nakita niyo naman ang -- hindi sa nagbubuhat ng bangko -- ang nagawa natin. Much more siguro kung complete term."
Tolentino, who is also the chief of Philcycling and the representative of the eighth district of Cavite, also announced that his first vice president will be Al Panlilio, the president of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas.
Ormoc City Mayor Richard Gomez will be his second vice president. Gomez also heads the country's fencing and modern pentathlon federations.
Tolentino is upbeat that the voting members will consider his contributions to Philippine sports over the past year.
"Siguro, merong kaunting mag-iisip naman na sila, may nagawa ba akong hindi maganda? Meron ba akong naitulong sa sports? Meron ba akong naitulong sa atleta? Sa national athletes, sa national coaches?" said Tolentino, who defeated athletics chief Popoy Juico, 24-20, in last year's elections.
"After how many years, nailagay ba ulit ang Pilipinas sa No. 1, overall champion (sa SEA Games)," he added. "With that siguro naman, sa sports community, and all na ang tanong, may nai-contribute ba ako? It's them to find out kung anong sagot po doon."
The POC will hold a general assembly on September 30, and the filing of candidacies begin on October 1 until October 30. The campaign period will start on November 1, with the elections scheduled for November 27, the last Friday of the month.