POC lifts PATAFA suspension, Juico no longer persona non grata

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 04 2022 01:13 PM

POC President Rep. Bambol Tolentino and PATAFA President Philip Ella Juico. File photo.
POC President Rep. Bambol Tolentino and PATAFA President Philip Ella Juico. File photo.

MANILA, Philippines -- The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) on Monday announced that it has junked its resolution declaring Philip Ella Juico persona non grata, while also lifting the suspension of the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA).

"The Executive Board of the POC fulfilled its gentlemanly pronouncement and has lifted the two resolutions rendered by the POC on the PATAFA," said POC president Rep. Abraham "Bambol" Tolentino after the organization's emergency meeting.

"The lifting of the resolution hinged on the successful mediation between pole vaulter Ernest John 'EJ' Obiena and the PATAFA," he explained.

The rift between Obiena and the national sports association (NSA) ended last Wednesday, after they agreed to a settlement following a mediation spearheaded by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC).

As a result, the PATAFA is set to reinstate Obiena into the national team roster, and endorse his participation in international competitions including the upcoming Southeast Asian Games and the Asian Games.

"As projected, there were no objections and the motions of lifting were to be considered unanimous," said Tolentino. 

The two resolutions were passed on two separate occasions — the persona non grata in December and ratified by the POC General Assembly and the second, suspension of PATAFA which Tolentino deferred for ratification by the assembly last week.

"It is therefore with great relief to announce that the POC, lifts as we hereby lift the resolution declaring Mr Juico as persona non grata and lifts also the resolution suspending PATAFA as member of the POC," said Tolentino.

With the lifting of both sanctions, Tolentino said Juico and PATAFA will resume their active status with the POC. 

"As I have maintained even before, there are no losers but only winners," he added. "The main winner being the Filipino athlete."