PSC: No response yet from Obiena, Patafa
CEBU CITY, Philippines—The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) has not received any response from the embattled Olympian pole vaulter EJ Obiena and the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (Patafa) following their transmittal of the Mediation Submission Agreement last November 25, 2021, Thursday.
Last week, the PSC stepped in to mediate the rift between Obiena and Patafa with the latter accusing the Olympian for mismanaging his training funds which became viral on social media.
According to a press statement from the PSC Board Press, they are still “waiting for PATAFA and EJ Obiena to return the said agreement with their respective signatures.”
With that in mind, the PSC Board headed by the agency’s chairman William “Butch” Ramirez, expressed their concern regarding the delay.
“Again, my role is to facilitate communication between the parties, not to decide who is right or wrong. Mediation is the best option for now so the parties can reconcile, open communication lines, and continue the work that needs to be done. The parties owe it to the government and the Filipino people to resolve the issues amicably. A failed mediation will be detrimental to both parties,” Ramirez said in the press statement.
“As an elder of the Philippine sports community, I am asking them to submit to mediation for their mutual benefit.” Ramirez said.
In a board meeting on Monday, November 29, 2021, the PSC Board gave both Obiena and Patafa a December 15 deadline to submit to the mediation.
The PSC Board also reiterated of upholding its implementation of “No Liquidation, No Funding” policy to aid a faster and more accurate liquidation for accounts that have encountered problems along the way.
The policy, which complies with the Commission on Audit (COA) rules has been efficient since it yielded 80 percent decline on unliquidated financial assistances to all National Sporting Associations (NSAs) under PSC’s fold.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) Ethics Committee has been collating pertinent information from both Obiena and Patafa.
In a statement, the Ethics Committee Chairman Patric Gregorio said that they’ve been working tirelessly with their legal team to resolve the issue as soon as possible.
Obiena sought help from the POC by filing a formal complaint against Patafa for the latter’s accusations.
“We are looking into this matter with utmost concern and collating pertinent information from both PATAFA and Mr EJ Obiena to ensure due process. The Committee has been tirelessly working with our Legal Team to resolve the issue at the soonest possible time. We do not want shortcuts here. What we want is to shed light on the matter and ensure that TRUTH prevails. Thank you for your patience and we will surely update you once the decision has been made,” Gregorio said in the statement.
Gregorio is working alongside POC’s chief legal officer Atty. Wharton Chan. He also revealed that they have already talked to Obiena and Patafa, but they are not ready to release details.
With regards to the possible sanctions imposed, Gregorio said that it is an “ongoing process”.
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