POC lifts ‘persona non grata’ vs Philip Juico, withdraws Patafa ban

PATAFA President Philip Ella Juico during the Philippine Sports Writers Association Awards Night 2017. photo

Patafa Director Philip Ella Juico —TRISTAN TAMAYO

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Olympic Committee Executive Board on Monday lifted the persona non grata card of head of athletics Philip Ella Juico and revoked the suspension of the Philippine Athletics Association.

POC President, Representative Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino confirmed the executive board’s decision after Patafa and pole vaulter Ernest John Obiena eventually resolved their differences in a mediation facilitated by the Philippine Sports Commission.

The POC announced that Juico, the president of Patafa, persona non grata over two months ago due to his fractious relationship with Obiena, the world number 5 racer and Asian record holder.

The local Olympic body eventually moved to suspend Patafa, but the POC . executive board decided not to bring it up to the POC general assembly last week following the positive developments in the mediation process mediated by PSC President William “Butch” Ramimez.

The back-and-forth between Patafa and Obiena that has dragged on for nearly six months was triggered by the liquidation woes that the athletics association hit its star athlete.

With Obiena and Patafa resolved, Obiena is given the green light to defend her title in the near term 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam next month.

An Inquirer source revealed that Patafa and Obiena are currently undergoing healing thanks to the athletics body setting up a digital rally for its national athletes, including Obiena.

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