IT HAS been all quiet on the Patafa (Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association) front since I last talked to Go Teng Kok some months ago.
I realized this when my senior colleague whom I dubbed “The Inquisitor” called to inquire if I had heard anything about the forthcoming Patafa election originally scheduled next month, May 20.
“No one seems to be minding the store,” he said. “Not even Mr. Go who has been president of the national sports association for the last two decades.”
A colleague, who regularly covers the POC/PSC beat, confirmed that GTK has not been seen in his office for sometime now.
However, the scribe could not confirm reports that Philip “Popoy” Ella Juico is running for president against lawyer Nicanor Sering, who, he said, is a member of the Patafa board.
With GTK’s status a big question mark after he was declared persona non grata by POC president Peping Cojuangco, it is Sering who attends the POC meetings for Patafa, according to my colleague.
“His father is former Gov. Jose Sering of Surigao, whom Go Teng Kok succeeded as Patafa president. Atty. Sering has the lineage.”
The thing is nobody seems to be interested in the Patafa election.
For example, no one among my colleagues in the Vito Cruz beat could tell who Cojuangco and Go are endorsing. Or if Go Teng Kok would continue as Patafa president, since the courts have ruled in his favor.
I told the Inquisitor that I had been waiting last March for an official announcement concerning Juico—an endorsement most likely since there will still be an election this May.
That’s what Juico told me when I bumped into him last Chinese New Year’s day at the Shangri-la Chinese Resto along Times Street.
Philip had been reluctant to admit that he was being groomed to take over as Patafa president but on friendly persuasion, he admitted that the transfer of power was being effected systematically and smoothly, hopefully without a hitch.
Only when the Inquisitor touched base did I realize that it’s now April and no announcement had been made about Philip or the Patafa or GTK.
“Maybe after the May 13 national elections, the people will focus on the Patafa polls. Remember, Peping’s wife Tingting is running for senator,” the Inquisitor reminded me.
Since he had influential friends in the POC and the PSC, I asked him to give me his gut feel of what will happen to the Patafa this coming May. It didn’t look like GTK will stay in power. After all he has declared that he will have nothing to do with the NSA if Cojuangco stays on as POC president.
“This is what may happen: Go says he won’t run, so the fight will be between Sering and Juico. If Sering wins, Go can stay as adviser or board member. If Philip wins, it’s up to him where he wants to put Go,” my colleague predicted.
The Inquisitor said Juico is not well known in the track and field community. “Which gives us another scenario. The 16 or so Patafa board members can take GTK back or vote for Sering, who is Go’s vice president. Whichever way the wind blows, Go will remain the power behind the throne.”