Athletics

PSC: No Obiena-PATAFA mediation yet

Beatrice Go
PSC: No Obiena-PATAFA mediation yet

EJ Obiena's Facebook

PSC says that EJ Obiena, PATAFA, and the POC have not agreed to any mediation

Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman William “Butch” Ramirez revealed that none of the parties in the dispute between EJ Obiena and the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) have entered into the mediation offered by the government sports agency.

Ramirez said that the PSC is partnering with the Philippine Dispute Resolution Center (PDRC), which will help facilitate the mediation process.

“PSC is just trying to protect the athletes, even PATAFA, which is a good organization like all NSAs,” said Ramirez. “But humility, generosity and forgiveness is needed in the midst of mediation.”

The PSC chief also requested that other outside parties and personalities to cease from releasing statements on the issue.

“To all those people who have not understood the very essence on why these things happen, and the laws of sports and etc, please stop talking. Let the athlete, PATAFA, Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), and PSC resolve this problem,” added Ramirez.

Ramirez requested POC for a ceasefire on the issue once mediation starts as the government sports agency also asked the national Olympic committee to retract its decision to declare PATAFA president Philip Ella Juico persona non grata.

Amid the controversy, Ramirez announced the PSC is giving financial assistance to Obiena, who made the request for his knee surgery, despite the fact he still has to complete his liquidation of funds.

Ramirez also said the PSC is working on awarding the 26-year-old pole vaulter the cash incentive for setting a new Asian record of 5.93 meters in ruling the Golden Roof Challenge in September 2021, eclipsing the 29-year-old mark of Kazakhstan’s Igor Potapovich set in Dijon, France in 1992.

Ramirez said PATAFA chairman and Deputy House Speaker Rufus Rodriguez has agreed to certify Obiena’s request so the athlete can receive the money directly as soon as possible.   

“We are thankful to Deputy Speaker Rodriguez in agreeing to our request on certification regarding the financial assistance to Obiena. In these extraordinary times, we are willing to bypass normal procedure,” added Ramirez.

After PATAFA announced its decision to drop Obiena from the national team and planned to charge the 26-year-old pole vaulter with estafa, the PSC asked the national athletics federation to reconsider, and PATAFA eventually agreed to push back the enactment of the recommendation.

The POC backed Obiena and helped the pole vaulter seek private funding as PATAFA withheld his funds due to the internal investigation. – Rappler.com

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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.