POC GA gives nod to declare Patafa chief Philip juico as persona non grata

Philip Juico, left, and Bambol Tolentino

The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) General Assembly on Wednesday ratified the Executive Board's resolution declaring Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (Patafa) president Philip Juico as persona non grata in light of the ongoing dispute between him and pole vaulter EJ Obiena.

POC president Bambol Tolentino disclosed 36 national sports associations (NSAs) voted in favor of the resolution, five voted not in favor, three abstained and 10 did not participate in the “hybrid” proceedings held online and face-to-face.

Among those who were not in favor of the resolution were wushu, weightlifting, squash, hockey and athletics.

Abstaining in the proceedings were Philippines’ representative to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworski, dancesport and netball.

Athlete’s representatives weightlifting Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz and swimmer Jessie Lacuna voted in favor of the resolution.

Tolentino said the POC is only following the procedures.

“Anytime na magkasundo sina Juico and EJ (Obiena), then i-withdraw ni EJ yung complain, the Executive Board and the General Assembly can revisit this decision,” he said.

Tolentino also clarified they are still recognizing Patafa and it could still function along with the POC through its vice president and secretary general.

“Patafa can still continue their everyday activities. Hindi naman namin ina-oust ang Patafa. Anytime we can revisit and reconsider the decision,” he said.

The declaration of persona non grata stemmed from Obiena’s complaint that he was harassed by Patafa’s accusations that he misused funds intended for his coach.