Garcia wants probe into Tabal's exclusion from SEA Games lineup

DEPUTY Speaker Gwendolyn Garcia said Tuesday, June 6, that she will file a resolution to investigate why Cebuana marathoner and Rio Olympics veteran Mary Joy Tabal was excluded from the roster of athletes set to compete in the 29th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.

In a phone interview, Garcia told SunStar that the officials involved in Tabal's case should explain and be held accountable.

"Yes, I will file a resolution as regards the exclusion of Tabal in the SEA Games. I think it is my duty as a Cebuana to help a fellow Cebuana who showed excellence in her field," Garcia said.

It was reported on Monday, June 5, that the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (Patafa) dropped Tabal among its athletes poised to compete in the biennial meet for not "show[ing] any intention of participating in the national team."

"Ayaw namin sa kanya, ayaw niya sumunod sa amin. Sisirain niya ang buong pamilya, ang community ng sports at ang values na gusto namin ipatupad sa asosasyon," Patafa president Philip Ella Juico was quoted as saying.

The 29th SEA Games will be hosted by Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on August 19 to 30.

Though the resolution is still on its drafting stage, Garcia said her announcement will "put Patafa on notice" that they will be probed in the coming weeks.

"I believe this [resolution] will put Patafa on notice...that they cannot act arbitrarily," the deputy speaker said.

Garcia said the resolution will be filed "this week," or even as early as Wednesday.

"As you know the Congress is on break but I will file the resolution maybe this week. But the probe will be conducted when we resume session," Garcia said.

The 17th Congress went into sine die adjournment last May 31 and will resume for the second regular session on July 24.

The Cebu City Council also urged the Philippine Olympic Committee and the Philippine Sports Committee to intervene in the decision of Patafa.

In a privilege speech, Cebu City Councilor Eugenio Gabuya Jr. said Tabal has been bringing pride not just to Cebu but the entire country.

“I am aware that she does not train under the auspices of Patafa. However, she has been training with her team and had proven her worth as an athlete. She has labored and worked hard and done the best that is in her,” Gabuya said in his speech.

Gabuya also moved to request Patafa to reconsider its decision.

The Council approved the motions of Gabuya.

In a press conference attended by athletics coaching staff and members of the national track and field team, Patafa, the national sports association for track and field, announced that Tabal is not on their list of official athletes that will compete in the Sea Games.

In May 2015, Tabal got the invitation to the national team but she resigned three months after.

Tabal won a silver medal on her debut in the 28th Sea Games in Singapore.

The 27-year-old native of Barangay Guba, Cebu City, was reinstated to the national squad in June last year but was released after her stint in the Rio Olympics last August. (With RVC of SunStar Cebu/SunStar Philippines)


No stories found.

Just in

No stories found.

Branded Content

No stories found.
SunStar Publishing Inc.