The Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (Patafa) rejected Philippine Olympic Committee’s (POC) declaration of association president Philip Juico as persona non grata in light of his current feud with Olympian pole vaulter EJ Obiena.

In a position paper distributed to the media Sunday, Patafa said POC’s action is not within its jurisdiction since the issue between Juico and Obiena is an internal conflict.

The paper quoted a provision from the POC Constitution stating that “[The POC] shall act as the final arbitrator of all intra-NSA conflicts and disputes, as well as, cases arising from or in connection with the Olympic Games or any form of doping offense in cases the same cannot be settled or resolved with the NSA’s processes and procedures.”

“The provision begins with the phrase ‘it shall act as final arbitrator… It imports the premise that jurisdiction vests in the POC only in conflicts and disputes that had been previously referred to some other body for settlement or resolution which failed in the task; hence, the reference to the POC as ‘final arbitrator,’” the position paper read.

In a recent interview with ANC’s After The Fact program, Juico explained that the ongoing issue with Obiena is an intra-NSA affair and as such, must be resolved first within the NSA.

“Only when there is no satisfactory solution can the POC come in,” said Juico, adding that it was the Patafa board which asked for the investigation of the alleged questionable liquidation documents involving the coaching fees of Obiena’s coach, Ukrainian Vitaly Petrov.

READ: ‘We will fight it’: Juico to contest POC’s persona non grata declaration

Obiena, an Asian record holder and ranked No. 6 in the world, filed a complaint to the POC and IOC regarding this matter, saying it was a form of “harassment.”

Patafa argued the investigation was needed because it involved government funds.

The position paper also noted that “the POC had gone public with its decision (to declare Juico as persona non grata) without doing Dr. Juico or Patafa the courtesy of first having officially notified either of them.”

“The truth, however, is that the Ethics Committee deprived Dr. Juico due process when it did not furnish Dr. Juico a copy of Obiena’s complaint, the very complaint against which he was supposed to defend himself, at the earliest opportunity.”

Manila Bulletin tried to reach POC president Bambol Tolentino regarding the latest development, but he has yet to comment as of this writing.

POC’s declaration of Juico as persona non grata means the Olympic body does not recognize Juico as Patafa president.

Patafa, however, can still function under its secretary-general and vice president.

Source: Manila Bulletin (