Patafa defers Obiena’s expulsion for 2 weeks

·1 min read

THE Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (Patafa) has deferred the implementation of the expulsion of Olympic pole vaulter Ernest John “EJ” Obiena from the national pool for two weeks.

The development came after Patafa chairman Rufus Rodriguez wrote a letter to the Philippine Sports Association. There, he wrote that this decision is a response to calls made by numerous government officials to resolve this long-standing conflict like sportsmen. The Patafa official also reiterated their organization’s desire to go through a mediation process offered by Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman William “Butch” Ramirez.

Patafa’s latest decision comes just days after it announced the findings of its fact-finding committee, which recommended that the 26-year-old Obiena be dropped from the national pool, and be charged with a criminal complaint.

On Jan. 5, the PSC stepped in to try and put a stop to the raging mess. Ramirez laid down four demands, highlighted by a request for all parties to submit themselves to a mediation process.

The dispute between Obiena and Patafa has garnered a lot of interest from all corners of the country, including Malacañang, with Cabinet Secretary and acting Presidential Spokesperson Karlo Nograles saying he hopes this controversy sees an amicable conclusion.

“We continue to support all of our athletes, including our star pole vaulter EJ Obiena and we hope that whatever disagreements that he may have, between EJ and the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association, hopefully they will all be threshed out,” Nograles said during a press briefing.

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