BUDDY Andrada and I do not know each other personally.
I know he has been with tennis for a long time and recently with the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) as one of the commissioners, at least until the whole board was replaced by President Rody Duterte. So believe me, there is nothing personal about this piece at all.
I simply want to express my thoughts and some questions about the recent development at the Philippine Lawn Tennis Association (PHILTA) with Buddy suddenly re-surfacing in the tennis world and in a special election, replaced former president Edwin Olivarez who resigned for reasons I do not know.
And using that resignation as the basis, and saying he wanted to unify PHILTA, that election was held with Buddy voted for by seven directors , some personally and some through proxy votes to win by majority.
But even with the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) sending Cynthia Carreon as POC representative, which is practically a de facto recognition as the presence of said representative is a requirement to make it legal, though officially, I understand the POC still has to make a formal announcement on the matter as Carreon has to make her official report on the matter.
At the same time, it was reported that PHILTA vice president Randy Villanueva was questioning the legality of the election and supposedly, walked out with his father during the said election.
And this is where it gets confusing for me.
I believe that an elected vice-president in any NSA automatically succeeds the president if the latter , for any reason, cannot function anymore as president for whatever reason.
This sounds very logical to me, and that is why I was surprised at the reason cited by Buddy that the PHILTA’s constitution says the VP succeeds the president only if the latter is incapacitated and cannot fulfill his function that the vice-president replaces him.
Since Olivarez resigned but is not incapacitated, therefore, an election can be called to look for a new president.
To say the least, I am having a hard time accepting the argument presented by Buddy, this is splitting hairs for me and is definitely more of a technical interpretation than anything else.
In effect, the essence or substance of the law is set aside with this interpretation.
From the news report I read, Buddy was also quoted as saying he wants to unify the federation after Olivarez resigned. But I have not heard of anything that there is rift between the senior officials that has threatened the association, not that I am supposed to know about it.
But then instead of unifying, did it not create disunity by itself as now there are two factions within the board, that of Buddy and supposedly the minority group of Randy Villanueva, this is another question that I would like to know the answer.
I also got it from a source that the notice to call for a special meeting should be announced at least three weeks in advance to the trustees but in this case, allegedly, the notice was sent with only about two weeks’ notice, now that is a clear technical violation if true, there is no room for misinterpreting that.
Secondly, the special meeting should be called for by the acting president, which in this case should be the vice president.
It is clear to me that even on an acting capacity, the vice-president should assume the office of the president to ensure that the NSA runs normally.
In this case, supposedly, it was PHILTA secretary-general Romeo Magat who called for the meeting.
Again, this can be debated because Buddy has a different assumption in the matter I think, same with the information I got that a member of the board should vote in person and proxy votes are not allowed , these are legal questions that a lawyer is better qualified to render an opinion after reviewing the bylaws concerned.
Now allow me to ask this question, did Buddy reclaim the PHILTA presidency because he has no office nor position now, but then considering his age, he is 81 already, isn’t it time to give way for the senior sports officials to give way to younger people who are qualified to serve, this is the same question I have been hearing about POC president Peping Cojuangco, who at 82, is supposedly seeking another four- year term of office after having served 3 terms already by the time his current term ends.
When newly-elected Congressman Mikee Romero was a guest at the PSA Forum after his election, he was calling for the resignation of the current NSA officers, referring in particular to Peping and give way to younger ones.
So this is not something new.
But then this is one problem in the local world of sports, a lot of sports officials have been at the helm for a long time and it seems, are not willing to step aside to continue enjoying the perks that the position gives.
What will be interesting is how the POC will rule in this latest NSA problem of having two factions, but let me make an educated guess, considering the personalities involved, the election of Buddy will be justified and upheld, and I am willing to make a small bet this will be the outcome.
Now let us await how this drama unfolds in the following days, or will it be weeks, or months?