ONE of the longest tenured leaders in Philippine sports finally stepped down on Friday when Go Teng Kok was officially replaced by former Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman Philip Ella Juico as president of the Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association (Patafa).
Juico was elected by acclamation by the association’s 10-man board of trustees during its election held at the Orchids Hotel, becoming the next head of the country’s athletics federation after Go whose 24-year reign finally came to an end.
The new Patafa president was magnanimous in victory in the presence of Go and the entire board.
“I’m not a replacement of Mr. Go, because Mr. Go can’t be replaced,” said Juico in his post-election statement.
An election was earlier held to select the 10-man Board of Trustees from which Juico was handpicked to become the successor of Go.
Nicanor Sering was elected vice-president, Maricor Pacheco secretary-general, Lucy Artiaga treasurer, and Janet Obiena auditor.
No representative from the Philippine Olympic Committee attended the election, although representatives from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Asian Athletics Association (AAA) through secretary general Maurice Nicholas, were present.
Nicholas said the non-presence of POC officials is not a big issue, stressing the result of the election is valid, which he already informed to the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF).
Also elected as chairman was Dagupan City mayor Alipio Fernandez, while members of the Board included congressman Rufus Rodriguez, Chua Pio, Cham Teng Young, and Go, whose slot was given by former Philippine Sports Commission executive director Dr. Lucrecio Calo.
Go assumed the Patafa presidency in 1990.
Meanwhile, the POC through vice president Joey Romasanta said the Olympic body is open at recognizing the new leadership of Patafa.
"The POC anxiously awaits Mr. Juico's commitment to introduce positive changes in Patafa, and steer it in the proper direction," said Romasanta in a short statement.