Bong Go hails Obiena, PATAFA for resolving dispute

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go on Sunday hailed the resolution of the dispute between the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) and pole vaulter Ernest John “EJ” Obiena, as he emphasized that sports must unite all Filipinos, not divide them.

Likewise, Go commended the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) for mediating between the two camps and enabling them to reach an agreement.

“I commend and thank the PSC, PATAFA and EJ Obiena for finally resolving the issues,” Go said.

“Ngayon makapag-focus na si EJ Obiena sa mga darating ng mga kompetisyon at patuloy ring maipapatupad ng PATAFA ang iba't ibang programa nito para sa ating mga atleta (Now, EJ Obiena can focus on his upcoming competition and the PATAFA can continue the different programs it has for our athletes),” said Go, who chairs the Senate Committee on Sports.

Go went on to stress that unity among and full support from the Filipino people are essential, especially in sports, wherein the pride and glory of the country are at stake.

“Sa panahong karangalan ng ating bansa ang nakasalalay, pinakamahalaga ay ang pagkakaisa natin at buong suporta ng sambayanang Pilipino upang muling maiwagayway ang bandila ng Pilipinas sa mga pandaigdigang kompetisyon (At a time when our nation’s honor is at stake, it’s very important for the whole Filipino community to unite and support so we can again proudly wave the Philippine flag in international competitions),” he reiterated.

It was last March 30 when the PSC declared that the row between Obiena and PATAFA has ended and that the two camps have finally reached an agreement.

This eventually led to PATAFA endorsing Obiena for the 2022 World Outdoor Athletics and the 2022 Southeast Asian Games.

Both parties “have assured each other of forgiveness, to start afresh and move on,” according to PSC Chairperson William Ramirez, in a statement.