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Sports

Stepping down

Lito A. Tacujan - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — It’s been all about the family and taking care of business that precipitated his decision to step down as PATAFA president.

These are the off-the-shelf reasons conveniently bared by officials quitting their position, the better to get it over without creating animosities or hostilities.

Philip Juico cited these as the real reasons for quitting the job although he will stay on in the PATAFA board as Chairman Emeritus.

“I’ve spent eight years serving the PATAFA and I feel it’s about time I spend more time with my family, business and advocacies,“ said Juico.

It is odd that he gave up his position after a bruising squabble with the POC leadership and world-ranked pole vaulter EJ Obiena stemming from a simple case of disbursement of government funds.

He was cleared on two counts – the first on the persona non grata charge and the second the non-inclusion of Obiena in the team bound for the Hanoi SEA Games.

It was more than an issue between the POC and the PATAFA as other NSAs followed with keen interest on how the Olympic body would assert its authority over the national association claiming autonomy.

Juico stood his ground and armed with the endorsement from the World Athletics, he fought his way to establish its autonomy.

He maintained that the PATAFA through the years has remained steadfast to its “core values of integrity, honesty, competence and sincerity, the same values it required of all its athletes.”

Obiena learned it the hard way, missing the World Indoor and, finding his career on the line, sought for a mediation from the PSC and made peace with PATAFA.

But it would be the last straw for the former PSC chair who led the athletics team to 26 gold, 25 silver and 41 bronze medals in four SEA Games.

Although vindicated, Juico felt that there is too much partisan politics and power play in the current POC leadership to the detriment of Philippine sports.

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