Puentevella to propose setting aside ratification of Juico’s persona non grata status
MANILA, Philippines—A former Philippine Olympic Committee president proposed a motion for a General Assembly in hopes of fixing the rift between Olympian EJ Obiena and Philip Ella Juico, the embattled president of the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association.
Monico Puentevella said in a statement that it’s high time for the parties involved in the dispute to set aside their personal egos and work together for a resolution in the dispute that has dragged on into the New Year.
“Time for sacrifice and set aside our egos to save Philippine sports from mediocrity,” said Puentevella Thursday.
“Nobody wins in this ego tripping squabble. Philippine sports is the big loser and this has to stop.”
The weightlifting chief added that another purpose of the General Assembly, which he proposed for January 12, is to set aside the ratification of the POC’s Executive Committee move that declared Juico as persona-non-grata.
Puentevella said that an addendum stating that Patafa will reinstate Obiena into the national team once the POC move is revoked will be included.
“I’m quite optimistic that once this is approved, mediation will and should be conducted by the Philippine Sports Commission for a period of one month for the adversaries to resolve a beneficial and mutual agreement and to avoid issuing further statements until this is all over,” said Puentevella.
Back in November, Patafa ordered Obiena to return 85,000 euros after the pole vaulter allegedly falsified liquidation reports regarding payments made to coach Vitaly Petrov.
It has since exploded into a messy saga with Obiena getting expelled from the national team and the POC invalidating Juico and his position.
“From a mole, we have created a monster. Enough to create big dividing unnecessary ripples between athletes and officials. Sports loving people are laughing at us. So let’s all unite and let reason prevail,” said Puentevella, the POC president when former Patafa president Go Teng Kok was declared persona-non-grata in 2011.
Patafa on Thursday said it is deferring its recommendation on Obiena for two weeks.