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Philippine Olympic Committee President Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino (center) leads a pact between wrestling chief Alvin Aguilar (left) and jiu-jitsu head Choy Cojuangco at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel on Wednesday (Dec. 9, 2020). Cojuangco said he was happy that the issue with Aguilar’s group has been settled. (Contributed Photo)

POC chief fixes mess between grappling orgs

Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino mediated to solve the situation between the Wrestling Association of the Philippines and the Jiu-Jitsu Federation of the Philippines. 

On Wednesday, Tolentino summoned wrestling chief Alvin Aguilar and jiu-jitsu head Ramon “Choy” Cojuangco at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel to finally settle the score. 

Aguilar and Cojuangco agreed to lay the issue, which stemmed from the scheduling of separate grappling events, to rest, although Cojuangco said the issue was not that big. 

“We’re happy we already settled what needed to be settled. Our federation is open to any clubs and we’re not barring our members to participate with them or their members to join us, including those who want to qualify for the national team,” Cojuangco said. 

In response, Aguilar, who also owns the renowned mixed martial arts promotion Universal Reality Combat Championship, said, “Jiu-jitsu under the JJIF (Jiu-jitsu International Federation) and grappling under the UWW (United World Wrestling) will co-exist in our country the way it does all over the world.” 

After seeing both Aguilar and Cojuangco “virtually shaking hands,” Tolentino said, “Harmonious and united they are now. This is good for the athletes.” 

The fixing of the situation between the two organizations clears the path for national wrestling and jiu-jitsu athletes to begin their buildup for the Asian Indoor Martial Arts Games in Bangkok from May 21-30, 2021. PNA

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