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Juico says POC decision will not distract PATAFA quest for accountability

Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association chief Philip Juico lamented the Philippine Olympic Committee’s decision to ratify their declaration of making him a persona non-grata in the agency.

Still, Juico and PATAFA will not back off from their investigation of the alleged embezzlement of government funds by their star pole vaulter EJ Obiena.

“I may now be persona non grata in the eyes of the POC, but this will not distract us in our quest for truth, accountability, transparency, and justice in our federation,” Juico’s statement read.

“If this is the price I have to pay for holding my athlete accountable, so be it. I have nothing to be ashamed of. I will step out of the POC with my head held high.”

Earlier in the day, an overwhelming majority voted for the banishment of Juico from the POC.

A total of 36 votes — including athletes’ commission member and Tokyo Olympics gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz of weightlifting and swimmer Jessie Lacuna — were in favor of declaring Juico as an unwanted person in the POC due to “harassment” of Obiena.

Eleven NSAs voted no while five NSAs led by weightlifting president Monico Puentevella, wushu, squash, athletics Juico, and hockey opposed the motion.

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

Juico though cried foul with regards to how the votation went.

“The process was railroaded. Again, there was no due process because there was no division of the house.

“Instead, POC claimed that a pre-circulated resolution was signed by 36 POC members who affixed their signatures without any resolution having presented during the general assembly for voting and neither I nor several others POC members received this resolution as the same resolution to be voted on during the general assembly,” he claimed. “The POC notice dated January 3, 2022 clearly stated that ‘the matter will be reported and taken up during the regular general assembly scheduled on 12 January 2022’ which was rescheduled today.

“The POC did not give any opportunity for the general assembly to verify this 36-member pre-approved resolution.”

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