Statement of Senator Pia S. Cayetano
The truth is finally out! The Commission on Audit (COA) has declared that pole vaulter EJ Obiena did not misuse the P10 million training fund that was directly given to him, which resulted from PATAFA’s (Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association) repeated failure to liquidate on time past gov’t financial aid to its athletes.
In addition, COA said that the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) has committed to follow state auditors’ recommendations to prevent similar situations in the future, where the athlete is unduly burdened with liquidation duties, instead of just focusing on training and competition.
Regrettably, this controversy took a big toll on EJ and his family. The Senate even had to step in. The harassment against EJ must end, and I hope that no other athlete would ever experience the ordeal he went through, when all he wants is to compete and bring honor to our country.
Like all our national athletes, EJ needs support from Filipinos and our sports governing bodies. From my end, I have filed the Roadmap for Sports Excellence bill, which seeks sustained funding and a long-term vision for our sports programs.
EJ is now in the US about to compete in the World Athletics Championships. Let’s cover him in prayers – may he have a great performance and feel our love and support. #