The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) has volunteered to mediate and called for a dialogue between Tokyo Olympian pole-vaulter EJ Obiena and the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) in resolving their impasse.
But for it to happen, the government sports-funding agency recommended a social media ceasefire between the two aggrieved parties in order for them to arrive at a win-win solution.
“While we wish 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,” the PSC said in a statement.
“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,” it added.
Should this option fail, the PSC will be forced to implement actions that could result to possible cutting of financial assistance to PATAFA.
But the PSC is hoping both factions will resolve the issue stemming from PATAFA’s allegation that Obiena allegedly falsified liquidations regarding payments to the latter’s Ukrainian coach Vitaly Petrov.
Obiena flatly denied it.
“We shall not allow this to spoil the successful gains of the Philippines in sports. Let this year remain with the glorious glow of the golden victories of our sports heroes,” it said.
The PSC stressed they were not remiss in its duty to protect the athletes as well as Philippine sports in general after PSC chairman William Ramirez earlier said “they will intervene when appropriate.”
“We assure everyone that we at the PSC did not take the matter lightly. We have already quietly started a series of separate dialogues with each of the concerned parties, with quick and just resolution of the issue in mind,” it said.
“The PSC was created with the athletes in the heart of its being, to protect their welfare and ensure a conducive environment for sport’s excellence. We have been dedicated to fulfilling this mandate.
“We remain vigilant in the dispense of our tasks, part of which are protecting our national athletes and ensuring the proper use of any financial assistances to any organization like the PATAFA,” it added. — Joey Villar