‘’Wow, PATAFA, your actions demonstrate the worst of Philippine sports!’’
This was the unfiltered reaction of Senator Pia Cayetano to the refusal by the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) to endorse EJ Obiena in four major international meets this year.
‘’Talagang okay lang sa inyo na wala tayong representative sa mga major international sports competitions? (It is really okay with you that there is no Filipino representative in these major international sports competitions?),’’ she asked.
‘’Despite EJ Obiena’s detailed explanation at the Senate hearing proving that his coach has been fully paid, and which the latter has affirmed, PATAFA rejected his request to be endorsed to compete in the SEA Games, Asian Games, and other world athletics events,’’ Cayetano told Senate reporters via Viber.
Obiena is hailed as a ‘'talented young man’’ who holds the Asian record, has reached the top three in the world pole vault rankings, and was number one recently in the Orlen Cup and Orlen Copernicus Cup in Europe.