THE Philippine Sports Commission called for a resolution to the conflict between the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (Patafa) and its athlete EJ Obiena or face consequences as far as financial assistance to the federation is concerned.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the PSC said that it will mediate in the case and called on both Patafa and Obiena for a moratorium and a dialogue.
The PSC warned that failure to resolve the matter will lead to actions that will negatively affect Patafa as far as financial assistance is concerned.
“While we wish for the matter to be handled with confidentiality, we are bound by duty to mediate and call both parties to the table in the interest of truth and arresting the damage this tussle has done on our country’s image in the international sporting world,” said the PSC.
“We now demand the parties to refrain from issuing statements to the public and on social media. We hope the imposition of this moratorium will allow this proposed dialogue a chance to help all of us arrive at a proper resolution on this matter.”
“The PSC believes that alternative dispute resolution is an efficient tool and alternative procedure for conflict resolution between the federation and the athlete.”
“Should this option fail, we regret that the PSC shall be constrained to implement actions that would negatively redound to the concerned federation with regard to financial assistances,” said the PSC.
EJ Obiena denies falsifying liquidation reports.
PSC insists it remains vigilant in athlete concerns
The Patafa made a probe after Obiena’s alleged failure to pay the salaries of pole vault coach Vitaliy Petrov in the build-up for the Olympics. Obiena denied the accusations and called on Patafa to stop the investigation.
The PSC earlier said that it took a hands-off approach, a statement didn’t sit well with the Senate and threatened to recall its 2022 budget.
But PSC said even before that public statement, the government sports agency had taken action.
The PSC also assured that it will be vigilant in the athletes’ concerns.
“On this issue between the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) and national athlete EJ Obiena, we assure everyone that we at the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) did not take the matter lightly.
“Even before issuing our previous statement that ‘we shall intervene when appropriate,’ we have already quietly started a series of separate dialogues with each of the concerned parties, with the quick and just resolution of the issue in mind.”
The PSC is hoping for a resolution of the issue on the year where the country made history in all fronts, including the Olympics where it won its first-ever gold medal.
“We shall not allow this to spoil the successful gains of the Philippine in sports. Let this year remain with the glorious glow of the golden victories of our sports heroes.”
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