PATAFA's Juico officially declared persona non grata by POC

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 26 2022 03:21 PM

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MANILA, Philippines -- The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) on Wednesday ratified the executive board's earlier decision against Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) president Philip Ella Juico.

Juico was officially declared persona non grata during the POC's first general assembly of the year, held at the Grandmaster Hotel in Tagaytay City. 

A total of 54 regular national sports associations (NSAs) attended the GA. Thirty-six voted yes on Juico's persona non grata tag, including athletes commission members Hidilyn Diaz and swimmer Jessie Lacuna.

They favored the executive board's decision on the complaint filed by Olympic pole vaulter EJ Obiena against Juico, who was judged to have "harassed" Obiena by making "malicious public accusations" against the Olympic pole vaulter.

 

Eleven NSAs gave a "no vote," meaning they did not sign the notion, while five NSAs -- weightlifting, wushu, squash, athletics, and hockey -- opposed the motion.

Three others -- International Olympic Committee Representative to the Philippines Mikee Cojuangco Jaworski, dancesports and netball -- abstained.

"We are just following the procedure," said POC president Abraham "Bambol" Tolentino, who defeated Juico to win the presidency in July 2019.

"There's nothing personal here against Mr. Juico," he assured. "Anytime EJ and Juico agree, or EJ withdraws his complaint, the GA can revisit the executive board's decision."

Tolentino reiterated that Juico will stay as PATAFA president "for other matters, but is no longer recognized by the POC." PATAFA remains recognized as the country's federation for athletics.

"He is still the PATAFA president for other matters without recognizing him, but they still have their vice president and secretary general who can attend POC activities," Tolentino explained. 

He added that the general assembly did not need a full majority vote, since they are not suspending or ousting Juico as PATAFA president.

"We do not need a 3/4 or 2/3 vote because we’re not ousting and suspending him as president. We are only declaring him as persona non grata but still, 36 is 2/3 votes of the POC," he added.