PSC intervenes anew in Obiena-Patafa issue, sets demands

By: Dale Rosal - CDN Digital | January 05,2022 - 04:57 PM

CEBU CITY, Philippines—Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Chairman William “Butch” Ramirez and the PSC Board set demands on both pole vaulter Ernest John “EJ” Obiena and the Philippine Athletics and Track and Field Association (Patafa).

In a statement from PSC on Wednesday, January 5, 2021, Ramirez said that they deeply regret that their proposed mediation process wasn’t utilized. He said it could have solved the issue between Obiena and Patafa, which, he says, was merely a ‘simple case of liquidation.’

With that in mind, PSC set demands to both Obiena and Patafa.

These are the demands:

“1. We demand for EJ to immediately finish his liquidation of accounts so that we can continue to support him. 

2. We demand for PATAFA to reconsider their declaration of dropping EJ from their rolls, provide him an appeal mechanism and not to execute their decision immediately. 

3. We demand for the POC to bridge the two parties as the mother organization of both and reconsider their decision of declaring Mr. Juico persona non-grata on the premise of promoting peace in elite sports. 

4. We demand for the PATAFA, EJ, the POC and all the parties who wish to stoke the fire of this mad issue to stop. You have all publicly recognized the PSC and asked us to help resolve the issue, please listen to us on this simple request. Stop issuing public statements and come to the table with us to discuss this matter,” Ramirez stated. 

It is best remembered that the PSC forwarded a Mediation Submission Agreement to Obiena and Patafa in November but was ultimately sidelined after Obiena decided to give way to POC’s investigation. 

Sad development

Before releasing its statement, the PSC board had a meeting on Wednesday morning to discuss the necessary actions to the issue, which for them, ‘dragged on and have pulled the nation’s name to the mire of negativity in the international sports scene.’

Ramirez, in his statement, also mentioned that Patafa’s decision to recommend Obiena’s ousting from the national team without giving the latter a chance to appeal was a sad development. 

The statement also mentioned that Obiena already provided partial liquidation reports, which are being verified and examined. 

“EJ has given his partial liquidation report and the documents are now being examined and verified. This is a good step. Do not allow anyone to use those against you by getting it done. Finalize your liquidation and then you can focus on the other concerns. With this situation, the 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. 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. We shall also be requiring them to include the policy on arbitration within their by-laws as mandated under RA 11232. Failure to comply with these two policies by the end of the month shall constrain the PSC Board to review and reconsider granting of assistances to all non-complying NSAs,” Ramirez said in his statement. 

Ramirez also stated that the PSC was forced to look into certain laws that limit them to resolve issues and situations that call for necessary amendments. 

“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. Within the day, the PSC is set to talk separately with the above parties. We hope that we can all arrive at a resolution soon. The PSC board is set to report all related information to the Office of the President this afternoon. We remain committed to the Filipino athlete.”



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TAGS: Ernest John "EJ" Obiena, PATAFA, Philippine Athletics and Track and Field Association, PSC, William “Butch” Ramirez

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