Soriano files complaint against NOMELEC

The counsel of Rodolfo Soriano has filed a complaint with the National Golf Association of the Philippines (NGAP) board of trustees against the NOMELEC which is tasked to oversee the NGAP elections set for April 5 at the Alabang Country Club.

Lawyer Jan Freeman Villegas put to task the NOMELEC for rejecting Tagaytay Highland’s nomination of Soriano which he termed as “incongruous and in violation of the right of a regular member club under Section 5 of the New By-Laws of the NGAP.”

The NOMELEC set the start of the submission of nominations on January 26 but only announced it on February 15, according to Villegas.

“How can the NOMELEC set a deadline 40 days before February 26 for the nomination to the board of trustees when NOMELEC’s composition including its members was not yet confirmed until January 25?” Villegas asked.

The counsel also argued that not all golf clubs received the February 15 announcement on time.

“Some have not received any e-mail or letter and some member clubs have to recreate a form just to comply with NOMELEC’s requirement,” Villegas said.

In the case of Tagaytay Highlands, Villegas said it received the e-mail only on February 22 – four days before the deadline – at 10:45 p.m.

Curiously, Villegas said the e-mail was sent by a certain Myka Romulo using the e-mail address, It was received by Raizel Ann Crucena, senior operations and admin supervisor golf services of Tagaytay Highlands/Midlands.

Romulo is an NGAP official.

February 22 is a Thursday, giving Tagaytay Highlands only four days, including Saturday and Sunday, to comply with the NOMELEC requirement.

“They should have given leeway to the member clubs that received their letter with a four-day notice or less just like Tagaytay Highlands Golf Club,” the counsel wrote.

Villegas appealed to the NGAP board of trustees to uphold the right of every member club as enshrined in its Article of Incorporation and New By-Laws, protected by the State and the Constitution.

“Fairness, integrity, and opportunity will only be achieved if those who are in charge can exhibit a fair and honest exercise of a right without denying the same to those who are entitled to it,” he said.

The current NGAP board is under fire for not holding elections last year as required by its constitution and by-laws.

Only when the Iloilo Golf and Country Club raised the issue did the NGAP board announce elections on April 5.

Facing strong competition from the camp of former Rep. Juan Miguel Arroyo, the NGAP president Martin Lorenzo’s bid for a third term is in jeopardy for its poor performance and controversial actions.

The NGAP’s decision to replace a local World Handicapping System provider with Dotgolf, a foreign-based firm has been described as “anti-Filipino.”

Contrary to its assurance of a smooth transition, the WHS is in shambles with many players complaining about its accuracy.

NGAP’s transparency has also been raised with many questioning the impartiality of the NOMELEC whose membership is all handpicked by the country’s governing body for golf.

The NOMELEC’s decision to require the use of NOMELEC forms for proxy votes is also seen as an attempt to slow down the gains of Arroyo in securing votes for his ticket. This is a departure from previous practice.

Arroyo’s camp, however, said it has the numbers to unseat Lorenzo but is concerned about efforts to reduce its candidates.

“Should they manage to trim down our candidates to only five, it will ensure their control of the board,” Arroyo’s camp warned.

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