Juico back in POC’s good graces; two new NSAs admitted
The Philippine Olympic Committee general assembly (POC GA) put the lid on the controversy that hounded pole vaulter Ernest John Obiena and his mother federation by lifting the persona non grata sanction on Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (Patafa) president Philip Ella Juico on Monday.
Aside from taking the athletics chief back into its arms, the POC GA made up of 50 national sports associations (NSAs) from various sports likewise welcomed two more sports associations that further expanded the organization’s regular membership.
Juico was declared persona non grata by the POC in its executive board meeting last December, which was ratified by the general assembly late January due to the athletic chief’s rift with Obiena, Patafa’s star athlete who is currently No. 5 in the world.
Obiena and Juico eventually patched things up in a mediation facilitated by Philippine Sports Commission Chair Butch Ramirez, opening the door for Obiena to retain his title in record-breaking fashion in the Hanoi Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.
The Samahang Kickboxing ng Pilipinas led by Sen. Francis Tolentino got the nod of the assembly in the same hybrid gathering at Knights Templar Ridge Hotel in Tagaytay City as well as the Philippine Esports Organization.
POC president Abraham “Bambol’’ Tolentino confirmed that both sports associations have completed the required two SEA Games participation to warrant regular membership with the POC.
Kickboxing accounted for two gold, four silver and two bronze medals during the recent 11-nation meet held in Hanoi, Vietnam, while esports contributed two golds and two silvers to the fourth-place performance of Team Philippines.
Tolentino also said the assembly unanimously approved the granting of cash bonuses to the SEA Games medalists, but temporarily withheld specifics on the monetary rewards that will be handed out to Filipino athletes.
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