The famous “GTK Army” remains intact according to Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association (PATAFA) President Go Teng Kok.
Go stressed that despite the issues hounding the association, the athletes, coaches and officials are solid and have expressed their full support on his leadership.
“We’re family here. I told them to just concentrate on their training and if they have problems, just tell us and we’ll discuss it within the association. We are here to listen to them and solve the problem immediately,” said Go, who gathered the athletes, coaches and officials in a luncheon meeting on Thursday at the PATAFA office.
PATAFA Vice-President Popoy Juico, Secretary-General Ben Silva-netto and Board Member Nicanor Sering were in attendance along with coaches Joseph Sy, Roselyn Hamero, Roy Vence, Ernie Candelario, Sean Guevarra, Jeff Chua, Emerson Obiena and Nixon Mas.
Expressing their full support to the PATAFA leadership were Myanmar Southeast Asian Games gold medalists Henry Dagmil, Jesson Ramil Cid, Christopher Ulboc and Isidro del Prado Jr., as well as Narcisa Atienza, Rosie Villarito, Katherin Kay Santos, Eliezer Sunang, Mervin Guarte, Wenlie Maulas, Rafael Poliquit, EJ Obiena, Patrick Unso, Jose Unso, Julius Nierras and Joebert Delicano.
Silva-netto warned that the association would start implementing strict guidelines in checking the attendance of both athletes and coaches.
“We will monitor the attendance of the athletes and coaches during training. All coaches were asked to prepare training programs for the athletes. They [athletes and coaches]need to prove to us that they’re really in the training venue and have someone to support it like the officer-in-charge or guard in the venue,” said Silva-netto.
For starters, Sy and Hamero were removed from the Philippine Sports Commission payroll because of non-appearance during training. Sy was also tagged by Dagmil in a “loaning scheme. Sy allegedly lending money with minimal interest but the athletes must give their ATM cards as collateral.
Go has already asked interim head coach Danny Agustin Jarina to investigate the matter.
Athletics was the most decorated national sports association in the 2013 Myanmar SEA Games with six gold medals. The team is looking to bring its momentum in the 2014 Asian Games come September in Incheon, South Korea.