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Tabique sets new PR amidst punching incident at weightlifting Nat’l Open

By: Glendale G. Rosal - CDN Digital Correspondent | June 14,2024 - 07:11 PM


John Dexter Tabique (middle) during the awarding. He was joined by UC athletic director Jessica Honoridez and SWP chairman Mark Aliño. | By Glendale Rosalpen

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) bronze medalist and Philippine record holder John Dexter Tabique reset his personal record in the men’s 96-kilogram category in the finale of the 2024 National Weightlifting Championships on Friday, June 14, at SM Seaside City Cebu.

However, his triumph was marred by an ugly incident after the Cebuano weightlifter was allegedly punched by national coach Richard Pep Agusto, who was also in the competition.

In a furnished copy of the incident report, Tabique was allegedly punched by Agusto three times. He was hit in the hand and abdomen at their billeting quarters at Mambaling Elementary School.

“I was shocked when he did that because I don’t really know the purpose of it. Then he accused me of being the one who gossiped about him having an affair with my co-athlete. I don’t even know what the true situation is,” Tabique detailed in the incident report.

Worse, Agusto threatened Tabique, stating that he works in the Air Force’s special intelligence and could have him arrested anytime, according to the incident report.

The incident report also stated that several national coaches and weightlifters witnessed the punching incident.

University of Cebu’s (UC) athletic director Jessica Honoridez filed a formal complaint with the Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas (SWP) and another separate complaint at the Mambaling Police Station. Honoridez assisted Tabique in filing the formal complaint as Tabique is a current member of UC’s varsity weightlifting team.

SWP immediately filed a board resolution signed by chairman Mark Aliño, director Calixto Pacquiao, and vice president Francisco Mortera to suspend Agusto indefinitely following the incident.

“Pasalamat ko sa mga coaches nga nagbantay nako karon. Pero wala ko nagpadala ato, ako to gi set aside, wala ko na distract ato bisan one percent. Ako to gi himong motivation kay daghan ni look-up nako mga junior weightlifters. Gusto ko mahimong good example para nila,” Tabique told CDN Digital.

He lifted a total of 319 kgs in the men’s 96 kgs category. He lifted 143 kgs in the snatch and 176 kgs in the clean & jerk as his new personal bests.

“Proud kaayo ko sa akong nakab-ot karon. Ang ako ra gyud ato dili ko magpadala sa emotion. Grabe kaayo ang consequences kung nagpadala pa ko sa akong emotions. Kana si coach Pep, dako ko ug respeto niya kay sauna, dili ko mahimong ing-ani tungod niya. Despite sa nahitabo respeto gihapon ko niya,” Tabique said.

CDN Digital is currently trying to reach out to Agusto to get his side of the incident.

All in all, Tabique won two gold medals as he also topped the collegiate category in the same weight class.

Cebu bagged six gold medals in total in the four-day national weightlifting open, which was also participated in by Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz.

The other gold medalists from Cebu include Fernando Agad (men’s open 55 kgs), Eron Borres (men’s 49 kgs youth), Albert Bacaro (youth 61 kgs), and John Dominic Bohol (55 kgs boys secondary).

Zamboanga City ruled the competition after hauling 15 gold medals.


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TAGS: Southeast Asian Games, weightlifting

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