Once again, POC declares Juico persona non grata

By: Glendale G. Rosal - CDN Digital Correspondent | January 26,2022 - 06:31 PM

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) has once again declared Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) President Philip Ella Juico persona non grata on Wednesday.

During POC’s General Assembly held at the Grandmaster Hotel in Tagaytay City, it was announced that the Executive Board has ratified its initial decision against Juico to declare the latter persona non grata anew.

Among the 54 National Sports Associations (NSAs) that attended the general assembly, 36 voted yes including athletes’ commission member and first Filipino Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz to tag Juico as persona non grata.

Also among those who voted yes was swimmer Jessie Lacuna who is also a member of the athletes’ commission.

Those who voted yes favored the decision of the POC’s executive board based on the complaint filed by embattled pole vault star Ernest John “EJ” Obiena who was ‘maliciously’ and ‘publicly’ accused of mishandling training funds by Patafa and Juico back in November.

Meanwhile, 14 NSAs abstained which means they didn’t sign the motion of POC’s executive board including International Olympic Committee (IOC) Representative to the Philippines Mikee Cojuangco Jaworski.

NSAs for weightlifting, Patafa, wushu, squash, and hockey opposed the motion.

“We are just following the procedure and there’s nothing personal here against Mr. Juico, and anytime EJ [Obiena] and Juico agreed or EJ withdraws his complaint, the GA can revisit the executive board’s decision,” POC President Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino said during a virtual presser after the general assembly.

Tolentino reiterated that Juico will remain as Patafa chief, but won’t be recognized by the POC. He also clarified that Patafa remains as an NSA under the National Olympic Committee.

“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 said, noting that the GA doesn’t need a full majority vote since they are not suspending or ousting Juico as PATAFA president.

POC declared Juico as persona non grata in December based on its Ethics Committee’s recommendation.

Juico contested the declaration earlier this month citing it illegal and lacking jurisdiction.    /rcg

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TAGS: EJ Obiena, Executive Board, Hidilyn Diaz, Jessie Lacuna, PATAFA, persona non grata, Philip Ella Juico, POC

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