POC looking out for welfare of Olympic pole vaulter Obiena in decision vs. Patafa’s Juico

·2 min read

THE Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) placed emphasis on the welfare of Filipino Olympic pole vaulter Ernest John “EJ” Obiena in accepting its Ethics Committee’s recommendation to declare Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (Patafa) president Philip Ella Juico as persona non grata.

“If a president of a member NSA [national sports association] is not in one with the aim and purpose of the POC to protect and take care of the welfare of the athletes, then he or she does not deserve the recognition of POC,” said the POC, through its president Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino.

“As far as the POC is concerned, the Ethics Committee acted within its inherent power which is to determine if the conduct of a member of POC, specifically the president of the Patafa, is ethical, professional, and acceptable to the organization which he belongs to,” stated the POC.

The Ethics Committee, Tolentino said, is a standing committee of POC as provided for in the bylaws. Its sole purpose is to supervise the conduct of its members.

“After the Ethics Committee found that Mr. Juico’s conduct is unethical, the [POC] Executive Board merely adopted its recommendation,” Tolentino said. “The Executive Board did not penalize the NSA, in fact, he was not removed, suspended, or reprimanded.”

Tolentino said it’s the POC’s prerogative to declare anybody a persona non grata, which means an unacceptable person to POC.

“Based on the complaint and evidence presented, his [Juico] conduct towards Obiena, who is a very promising athlete, is unethical and violative of the provisions of the bylaws of POC, specifically on uplifting the level of performance of Filipino athletes,” Tolentino said.

The POC legal team, Tolentino said, stressed that Juico didn’t answer the accusations against him and “he is defending himself using jurisdictional issues.”

“The complaint of Obiena is not an intra NSA dispute, but it’s all about the conduct of Mr. Juico as president of the Patafa on the way he treated an athlete,” the POC said. “He [Juico] should actually be thankful that he was given the opportunity to clear his side but he opted not to and instead hid on jurisdictional issues.”

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