PSC intervenes, starts dialogues with Patafa, Obiena

By: Dale Rosal - CDN Digital | November 24,2021 - 03:18 PM

CEBU CITY, Philippines—The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) said it already started a series of separate dialogues between bemedalled pole vaulter EJ Obiena and the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA).

In a statement released on Wednesday, November 24, 2021, the PSC said it is bound to mediate on the issue between Patafa and the national athlete.

“On this issue between the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) and national athlete EJ Obiena, we assure everyone that we at the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) did not take the matter lightly,” the PSC said in the statement.

“Even before issuing our previous statement that ‘we shall intervene when appropriate,’ we have already quietly started a series of separate dialogues with each of the concerned parties, with the quick and just resolution of the issue in mind,” the statement further said.

Obiena, the world’s No. 5 best pole vaulter, was put in hot waters recently after Patafa accused him of falsifying the liquidation of his funds and the failure of payment to his coach Vitaliy Petrov.

Obiena and his coach strongly denied all the accusations.

In a report from Inquirer.net, Obiena demanded a public apology from Patafa and considered retirement following the accusations hurled against him.

READ: EJ Obiena demands apology from Patafa, threatens to retire amid row

The 26-year-old Obiena likewise said he has already filed a complaint before the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), International Olympic Committee (IOC) and World Athletics.

The POC already launched a separate probe on the matter. 

READ: Patafa belies EJ Obiena claim of ‘character assasination’

“We remain vigilant in the dispense of our tasks, part of which are protecting our national athletes and ensuring the proper use of any financial assistances given to any organization like the Patafa. While we wish for the matter to be handled with confidentiality, we are bound by duty to mediate and call both parties to the table in the interest of truth and arresting the damage this tussle has done on our country’s image in the international sporting world,” the statement said.

Gag order

Meanwhile, the PSC demanded that both parties should refrain from releasing statements to the public and social media. 

“We now demand the parties to refrain from issuing statements to the public and on social media. We hope the imposition of this moratorium will allow this proposed dialogue a chance to help all of us arrive at a proper resolution on this matter. The PSC believes that alternative dispute resolution is an efficient tool and alternative procedure for conflict resolution between the federation and the athlete. Should this option fail, we regret that the PSC shall be constrained to implement actions that would negatively redound to the concerned federation with regard to financial assistances. We shall not allow this to spoil the successful gains of the Philippine in sports. Let this year remain with the glorious glow of the golden victories of our sports heroes. The PSC will be issuing an update once a positive outcome of the dialogue and settlement of these issues between the parties involved are reached,” the PSC said through a statement.

It’s best remembered that in 2017, the PSC, through Commissioner Ramon Fernandez, also helped Olympian marathoner and Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) gold medalist Mary Joy Tabal of Cebu City be reinstated with PATAFA.

PATAFA vehemently refused Tabal to be reinstated after it accused the Cebuana of not ‘following’ their set of rules when in fact the Cebuana marathoner only requested to train in Cebu instead of the sports body’s recommended training venue. 

PATAFA later softened its stand and granted Tabal’s request to be reinstated and become part of the national team.

READ: Tabal-Patafa issue will be fixed, says PSC commish Fernandez

/bmjo

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TAGS: EJ Obiena, PATAFA, Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association, Philippine Sports Commission, POC, PSC

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