Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) President Ricky Vargas has resigned from his post, he announced in a meeting on Tuesday.
With Vargas stepping down, POC first vice president Joey Romasanta is set to take charge.
"The majority of the board were here today, save for certain members of the board. Our president was here, Mr. Vargas. And fortunately, we had a very good, very successful board meeting where we ironed out some issues but at the end of the day, the president, Ricky Vargas decided to tender his irrevocable resignation as POC president. Irrevocably," said POC spokesperson Clint Aranas.
In his resignation letter, Vargas said "there would be other sports leaders who would have the time and inclination to lead the POC more effectively."
"I ask for the understanding of all concerned, most especially the athletes and the NSAs who have supported my initiatives in the organization," Vargas said. "Rest assured, I will continue to support Philippine sports in my private capacity, particularly as an official of the MVP Sports Foundation and as President of ABAP [Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines]."
Vargas explained to the Board Members that corporate responsibilities and family sentiments played a big role in his decision. He also instructed Secretary General Patrick Gregorio to assist in the smooth transition of the administration of the POC.
Vargas resigns as POC President
Ricky Vargas has stepped down as president of the Philippine Olympic Committee. He will be replaced by first vice president Joey Romasanta.
The news, which comes months before the country hosts the 2019 South East Asian (SEA) Games, is the latest episode of a saga that has gripped the organization for weeks.
Just almost a month ago, Vargas questioned some moves of the members of the Executive Committee to oust him, citing dirtied up politics.
Due to this, Robert Bachmann, chairperson of the membership committee, Vargas' predecessor Jose "Peping" Cojuangco, Jr., constitutional amendments committee chairman, SEA Games chef de mission Monsour del Rosario and deputy Charlie Ho were removed from their posts. Also removed was Chef de Mission for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Joey Romasanta.
Vargas and Philippine Sports Commission Chairman William "Butch" Ramirez even got the support of Malacanang in the row.
Vargas was elected last February 2018, 23 votes to 15, after a court mandated the POC to hold an election.
The previous electoral exercise was declared null and void after Vargas filed a complaint regarding his disqualification from the race against former incumbent Jose "Peping" Cojuangco.