Investigative committee didn’t decide overnight to oust Obiena, says Patafa official
CEBU CITY, Philippines—An official of the Philippine Athletic and Track and Field Association (Patafa) said it took them 50 days to finish the entire investigation on Ernest John “EJ” Obiena before they recommended to drop the pole vault star from the national team.
Felix “Boy” Tiukinhoy, the chairman of the investigative committee of Patafa, said it didn’t decide overnight to recommend the ousting of Obiena from its ranks.
Tiukinhoy, also the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) chief, believes they made the right decision.
“Kinahanglan nato mahibaw-an asa padulong ang kwarta nga atong gihatag sa mga athletes. Atong barugan atong investigation ug atong findings. Unsaon naman lang ang integrity ani kung ato lang ni pasagdan mahitabo? Mauwaw ta sa sports community kung mao ni mahitabo. Abi kay talented ang athlete, ato na lang bale walaon ang integrity, character, and honesty? Dili nato i-tolerate ang ing-ani nga klase sa athlete,” said Tiukinhoy.
(We need to know where the funds given to our athletes are going. We stand by our investigation and findings. What will happen to our integrity if we just allow that to happen? We would be a shame to the sports community if that happened. Just because the athlete is talented, we would just forego integrity, character and honesty? We shouldn’t tolerate these kinds of athlete.)
Tiukinhoy said they have solid evidence proving Obiena didn’t pay his Ukrainian coach Vitaly Petrov on time in 2018 worth P360,000 (EUR 6,000).
Tiukinhoy said he was sad that Patafa was put in a bad light with the issue with Obiena even if it had the documents to prove that the pole vaulter mishandled the funds.
“Klaro man sa documents among na gather nga nahibaw-an namo nga wala niya nabayran iyahang coach. Pagkahibaw namo nga wala diay niya nabayran, mao to nag dali-dali siya ug bayad. Wala may problema kay nabayran man. Ang amo lang, ngano wala niya gibayran on time ug gi unsa niya ang kwarta?” added Tiukinhoy.
(It is clear with the documents we gathered that he didn’t pay his coach on time. When we found out that he didn’t pay his coach, that’s the time he hurriedly paid. There’s supposed to be no problem because he paid. But why didn’t he pay on time and what did he do with the money?)
Tiukinhoy said they asked to interview Obiena about this but the athlete allegedly declined.
“Nihangyo mi niya (Obiena) nga amo siya iinterview ka tulo, dili man siya. Nag mediation ang PSC, dili sad siya kay adto jud siya sa POC nga wala man labot ang POC kalabot aning nahitabo,” he said.
(We requested to interview him three times but he wouldn’t agree. The PSC asked for a mediation, he also didn’t agree because he wanted to go straight to the POC which doesn’t have anything to do with this.)
Tiukinhoy said they already submitted their recommendation to the Patafa board. The Patafa board will ultimately decide to approve the recommendations or not.
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