The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) has declared athletics chief Philip Juico “persona non grata” in light of his recent dispute with Olympian pole vaulter EJ Obiena.

Athletics chief Philip Juico

The POC executive board approved this recommendation of the ethics committee in a meeting last Tuesday, where 11 of the 14 members agreed and two abstained.

Athlete’s Commission representative Nikko Huelgas moved the motion and seconded by POC Vice Presidents Al Panlilio and Richard Gomez.

Netball president Charlie Ho and the country’s representative to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworski abstained from the proceedings while handball chief Steve Hontiveros failed to attend the meeting that was held both face-to-face and online.

The recommendation stemmed from Juico “for not adhering to POC’s aim of uplifting the level of performance of Filipino athletes in international competition and for committing acts not necessary for the proper accomplishment of the purposes of the POC.”

The decision came a decade after POC also declared the same decision to Go Teng Kok after violating the constitution and by-laws for going into court involving the karate federation.

Incidentally, Go was Juico’s predecessor in Patafa.

Juico has been at the center of the controversy along with Obiena after he accused the Tokyo Olympian of allegedly falsifying liquidation records regarding the funds intended for Ukrainian coach Vitaly Petrov.

Obiena, currently ranked No. 6 in the world and an Asian record holder, denied the accusations and elevated the case as “bullying and harassment” to the POC and the IOC, stating that the situation has affected his training.

Tolentino clarified that the POC still recognizes Patafa and its athletes because it can still function with its vice president and secretary general.

“We’re not removing him as president of Patafa. We’re not suspending him. We just don’t recognize him as president of Patafa until a new election of president,” Tolentino said.

Manila Bulletin reached out to Juico for his reaction, but the longtime chief still remained silent as of press time.

Tolentino hopes this would serve as a wake-up call for all national sports association leaders to focus on taking care of the athletes.

“Let’s stop this entitlement and focus on the athletes,” he said.

Source: Manila Bulletin (