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Walkout mars tennis polls; Andrada stays as president

FORMER Philippine Sports Commission board member Salvador Andrada will remain as president of the Philippine Tennis Association for the next two years.

The 82-year-old Andrada, who said there was misunderstanding when he announced his plans to quit his post last year, will remain on his post until the first month of 2019.

Eleven of 12 board members showed up for the scheduled board meeting of the PHILTA office yesterday at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Vito Cruz, Manila, but four of them walked out, including businessman sportsman Jean Henri Lhuillier, who was seeking the post of president. He was joined by Lito Villanueva, his son Randy, and Virgilio Maronilla.

Salvador Andrada. Photo of www.web.psc.gov.ph
Lhuillier was informed that the presidency was not open for voting. He was later offered the post of vice president instead, which he turned down.

“My group is keeping our options open and we’ll take it day-by-day. But for sure, I will continue to support tennis in the Philippines as it is my passion,” said Lhuillier. “Bottomline is, we’re not participating today because we didn’t believe the process was done right.”

Romeo Magat eventually took the position of vice president in place of Randy Villanueva. He also assumed the post of  treasurer and secretary general. Magat was named treasurer in the absence of Edna Olivarez-Nguyen.

Board members convinced Andrada not to quit with respect to the association’s charter.

“Sinabi ng board ituloy ko muna. They didn’t want me to go, they wanted me to continue” said Andrada following the meeting, which was observed by lawyer Charlie Ho on behalf of the Philippine Olympic Committee.

Andrada explained that he had plans to quit for health reasons and he informed the board last Dec. 14. Since he said he had already recovered, Andrada reasoned he did not push through with the planned resignation.

But according to Lhuillier, Andrada had agreed to step down during a meeting with the International Tennis Federation, the Philta board and the POC last October.

“I signified my intention to run for the Philta presidency with the vision of making Philta a world-class association that will be more inclusive and will produce world-class players,” said Lhuillier.

“I have no vested interest in this; I just want to see Philippine tennis grow. I really believe there’s a lot more that can be done for tennis. In fact I had a great presentation already for today’s meeting but we’re not given the opportunity to cascade it to everybody,” added the team manager of the Davis Cup team and sponsor of tennis tournaments.

Lhuillier also said that it was highly irregular for Andrada to backtrack on his announcement to step down and questioned the latter’s assumption of the Philta presidency after former chief and Parañaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez relinquished the post as a requisite of taking public office.

“The proper line of succession should have installed the then vice president (Randy) Villanueva. Instead, a snap election was conducted contrary to association rules,” he said. “These circumstances were actually violative of Philta by-laws and renders Andrada’s Philta president invalid and illegitimate. It is precisely for these reasons that the new elections was slated through the mediation of the POC and the ITF.”

The 82-year-old Andrada, who said there was misunderstanding when he announced his plans to quit his post last year, will remain on his post until the first month of 2019.

Topics: Salvador Andrada , Philippine Tennis Association , Jean Henri Lhuillier , Lito Villanueva , Randy Villanueva , Virgilio Maronilla , PHILTA
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