All’s well: POC welcomes back Patafa, Juico
The Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (Patafa) and pole vault ace EJ Obiena buried the hatchet last week, and as an added price, the sports agency was welcomed back by the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) executive board with wide open arms.
POC president Rep. Abraham “Bambol’’ Tolentino likewise announced on Monday that the ban on Patafa president Philip Ella Juico has been reversed following a fruitful mediation process between the track association and its famed athlete.
With both sanctions—the suspension on Patafa and persona non grata tag on Juico—wiped off clean, the country’s governing body in athletics will resume its active status with the POC and function as caretaker of national track and field athletes sans the impediments.
Both Patafa and Obiena are now going through the process of healing with the athletics body setting up a digital gathering for all its national athletes, including Obiena.
“As I have maintained even before, there are no losers but only winners. The main winner being the Filipino athlete,” said Tolentino.
The POC’s gesture of goodwill put the lid on the controversy that ran for nearly six months. It was triggered by the liquidation irregularities that Patafa levied against the world No. 5 vaulter who was charged with late payments of the salaries of his Ukranian coach Vitaly Petrov.
The long-drawn quarrel reached a favorable conclusion for both parties on Wednesday last week in a mediation facilitated by the Philippine Sports Commission. INQ