Philip Juico on being declared persona non grata: ‘No due process’
MANILA, Philippines—Philip Ella Juico, the embattled president of the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association, on Wednesday claimed that the Philippine Olympic Committee rushed to its decision to declare him a persona non grata.
The POC ratified its executive board’s decision that rejects Juico’s responsibilities and obligations.
“The process was railroaded,” wrote Juico in a statement. “Again, there was no due process because there was no division of the house.”
Juico and the Patafa have been feuding with Olympic pole vaulter EJ Obiena since November 2021 with the national sports association claiming the pole vaulter falsified liquidation reports.
This beef led to Patafa dropping Obiena from its national team roster as well as coach Vitaly Petrov.
A total of 54 national sports associations attended the General Assembly with 36 voting yes to the declaration including Tokyo Olympics gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz and swimmer Jessie Lacuña, who are representatives of the Athletes’ Commission.
There were 11 no votes while three abstained from the proceedings.
“POC claimed that a pre-circulated resolution was signed by 36 POC members who affixed their signatures without 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,” wrote Juico.
“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.Nothing was taken up. The POC did not give any opportunity for the General Assembly to verify this 36-member pre-approved resolution.”
Juico added that “he has nothing to be ashamed of” for his actions towards Obiena and pole vaulting coach Vitaly Petrov.
“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,” wrote Juico. “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.”