Back in 2007, Dr. George Canlas left the political side of the Philippine Olympic Committee as he instead focused on the medical field.
But when he declared his intention to run for a seat on the POC’s executive board, the wise doctor was reminded of why he left in the first place.
“It didn’t surprise me but it disappointed me.
“But that’s how it is and that’s why I didn’t involve myself with any national institution for almost 15 years because it is very frustrating,” lamented the chief of United Philippine Surfing Association on 2OT.
The group of Clint Aranas, who is running opposite Bambol Tolentino for the presidency of the POC, cited that Canlas does not meet the two-year minimum requirement of being either the president, secretary-general, or vice president of UPSA as it has only been given membership to the council back on October 4, 2018.
Cycling’s Tolentino who is running for president, triathlon’s Tom Carrasco (chairman), gymnastics’ Cynthia Carrion (auditor), and judo’s Dave Carter (board member) were also petitioned to be disqualified.
The election committee decided to quash the petition allowing the quintet to run for their respective posts on Friday.
For Canlas, it’s issues like this that hinder the growth of the Filipino athlete and is his motivation to make a change.
“I think we can make a difference with people like Al [Panlilio], si Goma [Richard Gomez], I think we can make a little difference. The nice thing about it is I still have my contacts in the IOC, in the Solidarity Movement so I can use those which were not used before and I think we’ll be able to help more athletes than surfing lang. I promise them that I’ll be helping them.
“It’s been very chippy, to say the least, pero Pops [Juico] is a good friend of mine, si Dr. Charlie Ho is a friend of mine, they’re good friends of mine and the nice thing and I keep telling them, buti na lang doctor ako I can serve anyone, I am not a politician,” quipped Canlas, who was a former national track and field athlete.
Win or lose on Friday, Canlas will still be helping out athletes who are in need.
But all he hopes is for one thing once the dust has been settled.
“I really don’t campaign but I’m hoping that whoever wins will be more for the welfare of the athletes and not selective that there are venues wide open for them. Hopefully, we can open more like solidarity scholarships to more athletes and to select athletes, and rest assured, there are people there who one way or another will work for your welfare.”