CONTROVERSIAL sports official Go Teng Kok is contemplating on stepping down as head of the Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association (Patafa) after more than two decades owing to health reasons.
Go fell ill last July and had to be confined at the hospital for two months. Although he has slowly recovered from the ailment, his condition understandably, has prevented him from fully assuming his role as president of the country’s athletics association.
And so with a heavy heart, Go admitted in a hastily-called press conference on Rizal Day that leaving Patafa is an option for him.
“I hope I can recover soon, but I’m thinking of retiring,” said Go, looking trim in his traditional all-white outfit, but needed to use a cane while walking for him not to get out-balanced.
“I’m hoping for a smooth turn over (of leadership). I believe I’m doing my job, but it’s time for me to take a leave.”
Then again, he doesn’t discount the possibility of him staying on the position if and when something props up from now until the Patafa holds its election in February.
“Unless there’s some personal things na mangyari like biglang lumakas ang katawan ko, bigla akong tumama sa sweepstakes,” said Go.
“ Pero sa ngayon nakita ko its very impossible.”
Former Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman Philip Ella Juico, the current vice chairman of the Patafa, is being considered as the likely replacement of Go.
In Go’s absence, it was Juico who had been representing him in various international meets and functions, including the World Athletics Championship in Russia and the recent Southeast Asian Games in Myanmar.
The Filipino tracksters went on to win six golds, four silvers, and three bronze medals in the SEA Games with Juico acting as team manager.
Patafa emerged as the most bemedalled National Sports Association (NSA) in the biennial meet.
“For the past few months, nakita ninyo naman kung paano ako tinutulungan ni Mr. Juico,” said Go, who was joined in the presidential table by Juico, Patafa region 10 director and Cagayan de Oro congressman Rufus Rodriguez, Patafa executive vice president Atty. Nicanor Sering, and national coach Joseph Sy.
Juico said he’s more than willing to lead the athletics association where Go has been at the helm since 1991.
“I accept the challenge as I have accepted the challenge in the past as a former member of the Cabinet and as a former PSC chairman,” he said.
But Juico made it clear the need to first hold a clear and honest association election on February for him to take over.
“What we want to do is to follow the process and procedures of the election, and once all of those things are sorted out, the election will be held in a transparent way in compliance to all requirements. Then that’s the only time I will accept the leadership of the track and field association,” he said.
So for now, it’s still Go who remains at the helm.