MANILA, Philippines – The General Assembly of the Philippine Olympic Committee has lifted the non-grata ban on the personality of Philipp Ella Zuiko, President of the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association, covering the controversy between Paul Walter Ernest John Obina and his mother Federation.
In addition to embracing the Athletics chief in his arms again, the POC GA, comprising 50 national sports organizations in various sports, similarly welcomed two more sports organizations that have further expanded the organization’s regular membership.
The Samhang Kickboxing Polypinas, led by Senator Francis “Toll” Talentino, received approval on Monday to hold a similar hybrid rally at the Knights Templar Ridge Hotel in the city of Tagai, as well as the Philippine Sports Organization.
According to POC President Abraham “Bambol” Talentino, both sports organizations have completed the two Southeast Asian Games required to ensure their regular membership with the POC.
Responsible for kickboxing two gold, four silver and two bronze medals at the just-concluded 11-National Meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam, where the team contributed two gold and two silver medals to the team’s fourth place finish in the Philippines.
Talentino added that the assembly had unanimously approved a cash bonus for the winners of the SEA Games, but temporarily withheld the financial prizes that would be handed over to Filipino athletes.
“All medal winners will receive a cash bonus within a week after the POC is calculated and audited,” Talentino said.
This will be the second time SEA Games medalists will be awarded by the POC after the country’s overall title while hosting the 2019 edition of the Philippines.
There were 227 Filipino medalists in Hanoi who collected 52 gold, 70 silver and 105 bronze medals. The fourth overall finish during the SEA Games in Singapore in 1983 was the best finishing in the country when it was not hosting the Games or the second overall check since.
Talentino has announced that cash prizes will be deposited in the medal winners’ bank accounts.
Zuiko was declared a persona non-grata by the POC at its executive board meeting in December last year, and was approved by the General Assembly in late January due to the athletic head’s feud with Patafar star athlete Obina, who is currently ranked No. 5 in the world.
With the help of Philippine Sports Commission Chairman William “Butch” Ramirez, Obiana and Juico finally repaired the fence in a mediation, opening the door for Obiana to retain the title in record-breaking fashion at the SEA Games.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to access Philippine Daily Inquirer and other 70+ headlines, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to news, download by 4am and share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.