Obiena on declining mediation: ‘It’s a recipe for failure’
CEBU CITY, Philippines—Embattled pole vault star Ernest John “EJ” Obiena explained the reason why he declined the mediation process put up by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC).
In a lengthy Facebook post on Monday, January 24, 2022, Obiena thanked PSC Chairman William “Butch” Ramirez for his efforts in putting up the mediation in the bid to finally put an end to the controversy between the former and the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (Patafa).
Since November, Patafa and Obiena have been in a bitter rift due to the alleged mishandling of training funds by the latter.
It’s the second time that the PSC put up a mediation process.
However, in Obiena’s post, he explained the main reasons why he cannot join the mediation process.
“I thank PSC Chairman Butch Ramirez for his hard work as a peacemaker. I believe in mediation as a tool for peace and have full trust and confidence in the integrity of Chairman Butch Ramirez. Unfortunately, it seems that PATAFA is only using mediation as means to silence me and to keep the truth hidden. They always trumpet that I should go to mediation if I have nothing to hide. I have nothing to hide and that is the reason why I do not want to go to confidential mediation. Darkness is the home of the oppressor. I want the truth out in public, the same public where I was judged as guilty without due process by Mr. (Philip Ella) Juico,” stated on Obiena’s Facebook post.
“It is with great regret that I am forced to officially withdraw from the PSC offer of mediation due to the bad faith of Mr. Juico and PATAFA. I cannot let these lies be cemented as truths. These very lies are what will push our World-Class Filipino Athletes away. What do World-Class Filipino Athlete have to lose if they are pushed away from their own nation by their own NSA?”
He also expressed utter disappointment and said that he has lost faith to his NSA president, but not for his country and the country’s ‘true’ sports leaders.
Obiena also mentioned that entering into the mediation with the opposite camp clearly having bad intensions against him is a ‘recipe for failure’.
“It is a recipe for failure to enter into mediation with one party is in BAD FAITH; PATAFA was in bad faith this whole time as they signed the mediation with their true intention to still pursue the filing of a baseless criminal case of ESTAFA against me. PATAFA has said they want a peaceful resolution, but their actions prove this as a LIE. You cannot have peace while pointing a gun at the other guys’s head, and say “let’s have a peaceful resolution”. This is the exact opposite of good faith mediation,” Obiena said on his post.
Obiena admitted that he is terrible in a job that he never wanted; being an accountant and payroll manager.
“This is my mistake and have admitted to it from the very start. I’m a Pole Vaulter not a financial manager. This is not a question of integrity as Mr. Juico claims it to be, “It’s a simple case of liquidation” as said by Chairman Ramirez in his memo dated January 5, 2022; and as of January 21, 2022 all my pending liquidation with the PSC is done. It’s closed,” Obiena said.
Ultimately, Obiena reiterated that he does not jump for Philip Juico or the Patafa, but for his beloved country.
The 26-year old Obiena, currently the world’s No. 5 best pole vaulter is aiming to compete in the Init Indoor Meeting in Germany on January 28.
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