Statement of Senator Pia S. Cayetano
Former National Athlete
On PATAFA’s decision to drop top pole vaulter EJ Obiena from the national pool
I am beyond disgusted with the latest actions and statements of PATAFA’s Philip Juico who is single-handedly killing the spirit of Filipino athletes.
What should have been a feel good movie with EJ ending the year as the top Asian pole vaulter and ranked #3 in the world, has turned into a horror movie where a vindictive Juico is attacking and attacking EJ.
Despite the underhanded treatment EJ received from PATAFA, even after rendering a full accounting of his training funds and his coach’s confirmation acknowledging receipt of his full payment, it must be noted that EJ himself has said that he was willing to join the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) mediation process after the POC has concluded its own investigation.
I expect PSC to step up and put an end to all this now. During the Senate’s budget deliberations last December, PSC Chair William Ramirez committed to step in and act decisively. The PSC even warned in a subsequent statement that it would be constrained to sanction PATAFA should the mediation process fail. #