EJ Obiena

PSC asks PATAFA to reconsider dropping Obiena from PH team

Beatrice Go
PSC asks PATAFA to reconsider dropping Obiena from PH team

RECONSIDERATION. PSC pushes for a peaceful resolution among all parties in the EJ Obiena issue.

Johanna Geron/Reuters

PSC asks EJ Obiena to finish the liquidation process while also requesting PATAFA to rethink its decision to expel the pole vault star from the Philippine team

Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman William “Butch” Ramirez called for the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) to retract its decision to drop pole vaulter EJ Obiena from the national team. 

This is one of the demands that Ramirez laid down to help settle the issue, as the public urged the PSC to take action. 

“PATAFA’s dropping of EJ from the athletics national team without any chance given for the athlete to appeal was a sad development. Due process requires proper disposition of issues and cases whether in government or private venues, including in administrative proceedings,” said Ramirez. 

The PSC chief also said Obiena and his party must finish the liquidation of his accounts to speed up the resolution process. The government’s sports agency also requested the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) to reconsider declaring PATAFA president Philip Ella Juico persona non grata and to bridge the athlete and the national sports association (NSA). 

“We are here, we have offered our neutral table to seek a peaceful resolution to this from the very beginning. It is one thing to declare your stand publicly and one thing to follow it through with action. If we really all desire to see this to resolution, please listen to us,” said Ramirez. 

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PATAFA drops EJ Obiena from Philippine team

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After sports patron and American businessman Jim Lafferty hit at the “broken” liquidation system of PSC, the government sports agency will look to create policies to ease the funding process of elite athletes. 

“PSC now took a second look and have started to craft policies on the requests of NSAs to fund and support someone into becoming an elite athlete at the international level. This issue has once again highlighted how NSAs do not give due consideration on the investment of the government and the people,” added Ramirez. 

“We will implement stricter guidelines on granting of financial assistances to NSAs and will require their submission of a disciplinary code or protocol in case anything like this happens in their sport.” 

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According to Obiena’s party, athletes have been forced to front the money for emergency expenses, while dealing with the late funding from the PSC, which complicates the liquidation process. 

PATAFA investigated the falsified liquidation forms and late payments of Obiena, which led to the decision to expel the embattled 26-year-old pole vaulter. Obiena, who vowed to stay committed to representing the Philippines, is the current Asian record holder and the No. 6-ranked pole vaulter in the world. – Rappler.com

Beatrice Go

More commonly known as Bee, Beatrice Go is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Philippine sports governance, national teams, football, and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.