THE Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association insisted it did not refuse to endorse EJ Obiena’s participation in the World Athletics Indoor Championship and the Southeast Asian Games, a claim that eventually led to the action of the Philippine Olympic Committee executive committee to suspend the national sports association for 90 days on Thursday.
EJ Obiena vs Patafa update
In a lengthy statement, Patafa denied it didn’t endorse the participation of Obiena in major international meets as it was only acting on the Senate’s call to go into mediation with the Philippine Sports Commission.
Patafa cited a letter dated February 24 to make its point.
“Patafa did not refuse to endorse EJ Obiena in international competitions. In the Patafa letter dated February 28, 2022, PATAFA responded to EJ Obiena that it ‘will not act on your letter dated February 24, 2022 pending completion of the mediation process organized by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC).’”
“The deferral of any action on EJ Obiena’s letter is consistent with the directive of the Senate Committee to undergo mediation, which Patafa is currently participating in,” said Patafa.
Patafa issued a statement in response to the move of the POC executive committee to suspend it for three months, saying that it failed to serve its purpose by not endorsing Obiena to participate in the competitions sanctioned by World Athletics.
The suspension meant Patafa will not have any say on the composition of the national athletics team to events participated in by the POC including the SEA Games, which will allow Obiena to compete in the regional meet.
Patafa rued the lack of due process in the POC executive board’s decision to suspend the federation.
“Patafa was not afforded due process and has yet to receive any official document on the alleged POC suspension,” said the Patafa.
Patafa also made clarifications including its role in the PSC mediation which, the federation said, it has been religiously participating on March 7 and 14. A third mediation meeting on Thursday being rescheduled to March 21 due to Obiena’s request to move the date due to a prior commitment.
Patafa also clarified it has not filed a case at the Court of Arbitration, four days after the Senate directive to enter mediation. It said that the case being referred to is an “appeal arbitration proceeding,” which, Patafa said, is the continuation of the complaint filed by EJ Obiena against Patafa president Philip Ella Juico that led to the POC declaring Juico persona non-grata.
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