PSC asks Obiena, Patafa to resolve rift in confidentiality

PSC Chairman Butch Ramirez

The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) demanded pole vaulter EJ Obiena and the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (Patafa) to handle their ongoing issue with confidentiality “in the interest of truth and arresting the damage this tussle has done on our country’s image in the international sporting world.”

In a statement, the PSC Board demanded both parties to refrain from issuing statements to the public and on social media as it believed that “alternative dispute resolution is an efficient tool and alternative procedure for conflict resolution between the federation and the athlete.”

“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 statement read.

The PSC Board added if this option fails, the government sports agency “shall be constrained to implement actions that would negatively redound to the concerned federation with regard to financial assistance.”

The Board also clarified that even before it issued a statement saying, “we shall intervene when appropriate," the agency has quietly started dialogues with concerned parties to assess the situation.

“We assure everyone that we did not take the matter light,” the Board said.

“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 assistance given to any organization like the Patafa.”

Obiena and Patafa have been at the center of controversy lately after Patafa accused the Tokyo Olympian for allegedly misusing government funds intended for his Ukrainian coach Vitaly Petrov.

PSC is optimistic the conflict will be resolved and requested the public “not to 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.”