Fri. May 27th, 2022

Four senators filed a motion to hold the board of directors of the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA), in contempt for filing an arbitration case despite a prior commitment to undergo mediation proceedings with EJ Obiena.

EJ Obiena, the Philippines pole-vault champion being prevented to soar to the top by politicians associated with the yellow opposition. 

As Senate Committee on Sports chairman, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go he sent a show-cause order why its board should not be cited for contempt when PATAFA earlier  “agreed in an early hearing last February 7 “for the parties involved to amicably settle their differences,”

Go stressed that the Senate committee is committed to help resolve the issue in order to protect the welfare of Filipino athletes in a fair and lawful manner.

The senator previously reiterated his disappointment amid the conflict between PATAFA and Obiena which hindered the athlete from competing in several international competitions.

He emphasized that the athletes should be able to concentrate on their training rather than on other issues that can divert their attention away from their goals of delivering glory to the country.

“Kaya nakikiusap ako sa lahat na isantabi na muna ang pansariling interes at resolbahin ang mga hindi pagkakaunawaan alang-alang sa bansang ating nirerepresenta sa bawat laban,” Senator Go added.

POC chair incensed

An effort to resolve the conflict between the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (Patafa) and its star pole vaulter EJ Obiena via the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has drawn a rebuke from the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), which questioned the lack of good faith in the move.

“So what happened to the truce forged through the Senate? The mediation that both parties—Obiena and the Patafa—agreed on before our honorable Senators?’’ said POC president and Rep. Abraham “Bambol’’ Tolentino.

The POC will get a chance to officially question Patafa’s motive for knocking on the doors of the CAS—it has been named a respondent in the “statement of appeal” made to the international sports tribunal based in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Until then, however, sources told the Inquirer that the appeal risks the ongoing mediation between Patafa, and Obiena, who could retreat from the negotiating table on the heels of the development.

The CAS appeal was filed by Patafa president Philip Ella Juico on February 11, after the feuding parties promised to submit themselves to mediation during a Senate inquiry on the controversy presided by Senate Committee on Sports Chair Christopher Lawrence “Bong’’ Go.

Patafa officials, headed by Juico and its chair Deputy House Speaker Rufus Rodriguez, likewise declared their availability to a mediation in the Senate hearing attended by Senators Francis Tolentino, Pia Cayetano, Franklin Drilon and Ronald dela Rosa.

WATCH: Pinoy Olympic pole vaulter na si EJ Obiena, isinama ng Phl Olympic Committee 31ST Southeast Asian Games.

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