ARNIS Philippines,Inc. (ARPI), led by president Raymond Velayo, vowed to challenge the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) leadership and continue to fight for due process.
In the recent ARPI press conference held at the historic Club Filipino in San Juan, Velayo cited Section 6 of the POC by-laws to challenge ARPI’s expulsion from the Olympic family.
“There is no valid reason to remove us and there is no basis for the revocation of ARPI’s membership”, said Velayo, referring to the POC General Assembly in Pasig City last Nov. 22.
Velayo and his fellow officers claimed membership of the NSA in the POC shall cease only (a) upon disbandment of the NSA; (b) upon expulsion for non-payment of annual subscription for three consecutive years; (c) expulsion of the NSA by its international federation or ( d) infringement of the POC by-laws and Olympic charter.
“Based on Section 6,there is no valid reason to remove us at all,” said Velayo.
“They said the General Assembly voted 39 out 43 against us. How can it be when there were only 25 voting members present in the GA,” added Velayo.
Also present during the press conference were former Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Jose “Peping” Cojuangco and ARPI vice president and lawyer Ramon Rodrigo.
Cojuangco offered to mediate between Velayo and the rival arnis group, headed by Sen. Migs Zubiri.
“Both of them (Velayo and Zubiri) are my good friends, so I think I can talk to both of them and find a win-win solution,” added Cojuangco.
Cojuangco, however, lamented the fact that most of his supporters in the last POC election are now being singled out by the new POC leadership.