• Patafa softens stance on Tabal

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    The Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (Patafa) has softened its stance on marathoner Mary Joy Tabal and stated the conditions that the Olympian must comply with to be reinstated as a member of the national team.

    In a news conference last Monday, Patafa president Philip Ella Juico, citing neglect of rules, has announced that Tabal was denied slot in the Philippine team competing in the 29th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games slated on August 19 to 31 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

    But Patafa on Friday night said it is willing to give Tabal another chance provided she comply with certain conditions.

    “Yes, I have received their letter but I would not comment for now or until we come up with a good plan with the team on how to go with their conditions,” said Tabal.

    Foremost among the conditions are for Tabal to sign a declaration committing herself to abide by the Patafa rules and regulations, train under a Patafa-designated national coach, train in either Manila or Baguio and conduct herself at all times in a manner that demonstrates respect to fellow athletes and the Patafa.

    Another condition is that Tabal must withdraw, officially, and publicly, a complaint letter she sent to the Philippine Sports Commission last February 17. The Cebuana runner refused to elaborate on the letter’s content.

    Patafa said Tabal has until Wednesday to reply. The deadline of submission of the list of Philippine athletes joining the SEA Games is on June 15.

    Meanwhile, Cebu City 3rd District Representative Gwendolyn Garcia filed a resolution in the House of Representatives to investigate the arbitrary exclusion of Tabal from the list of the members of Philippine delegation to the SEA Games.

    Patafa’s head Juico told The Manila Times that they have not yet received a copy of the resolution.

    “I haven’t received the copy. The House of Representative is also on break that means no session. I don’t know how they can hold an inquiry not unless they call a special meeting on the committee. But we have to act on these things before June 15,” said Juico.

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