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Popoy Juico accuses POC of 'railroading' persona non grata decision

Popoy Juico claimed the POC "railroaded" its ratification to declare him persona non grata. PSA (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association president Popoy Juico has taken exception to the Philippine Olympic Committee's decision to declare him persona non grata.

In a statement on Wednesday, hours after the POC ratified the persona non grata tag on him during its general assembly, Juico lashed out at the committee, claiming that the decision has been railroaded already even before the meeting began.

"The process was railroaded," Juico said. "Again, there was no due process because there was no division of the house."

He then claimed that the resolution has already been approved before the GA and was not presented during the meeting itself.

"POC claimed that a pre-circulated resolution was signed by 36 POC members who affixed their signatures without any resolution having presented during the General Assembly for voting and neither I nor several others POC members received this resolution as the same resolution to be voted on during the General Assembly. The POC Notice dated January 3, 2022, clearly stated that 'the matter will be reported and taken up during the Regular General Assembly scheduled on 12 January 2022,' which was rescheduled today. Nothing was taken up. The POC did not give any opportunity for the General Assembly to verify this 36-member pre-approved resolution," Juico continued.

According to POC chief Bambol Tolentino earlier in the day, the executive board's decision was put to a vote in the GA, and 36 people out of 54 present voted for the ratification of Juico's persona non grata tag.

Juico and four others voted against the ratification, while three abstained from voting, and, as confirmed by the POC, 11 more were declared without a vote.

[Related Story: POC GA approves persona non grata tag on Popoy Juico]

In a statement just before Juico hit out at them, the POC said that those 11 attendees "didn't sign the notion," thus, they were not able to vote.

"I may now be persona non grata in the eyes of the POC, but this will not distract us in our quest for truth, accountability, transparency, and justice in our federation," Juico vowed on behalf of PATAFA. "If this is the price I have to pay for holding my athlete accountable, so be it. I have nothing to be ashamed of. I will step out of the POC with my head held high."

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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