EJ Obiena says open to PSC mediation but only after POC investigation | Inquirer Sports

EJ Obiena says open to PSC mediation but only after POC investigation

By: - Reporter / @BLozadaINQ
/ 07:59 PM December 26, 2021

EJ Obiena

The Philippines’ Ernest John Obiena prepares to compete during the men’s pole vault event at The Diamond League AG Memorial Van Damme athletics meeting at The King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels on September 3, 2021. (Photo by JOHN THYS / AFP)

MANILA, Philippines—Pole vault star EJ Obiena said that he doesn’t mind the mediation process offered by Philippine Sports Commission but he would prefer to wait for the conclusion of the Philippine Olympic Committee’s own investigation first.

In a Facebook post,  Obiena that he was the first to verbally agree to the PSC’s offer but it was the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association that refused the sporting agency’s move for a mediation and further alleged the pole vaulter of further misbehavior.

“I have been quiet lately as I have realize I cannot out-politics a politician. I just want to be clear that I have no issue with the PSC mediation; in fact I was the first to agree to it verbally but things change when the other party neglected the moratorium imposed by PSC and continued to insinuate ill behaviors,” wrote Obiena.

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He added he would rather allow both the International Olympic Committee and the POC to find a solution than to hold separate talks with Patafa.

Obiena also pointed out that he’s already presented the necessary facts regarding Patafa’s allegations towards him.

“First, there is already a process underway with the POC and IOC related to my case on harassment. I believe it’s appropriate to allow this process to finish unencumbered by outside matters such as a parallel mediation process. I believe it’s right to allow several more days for the POC process to conclude,” wrote Obiena.

“Secondly, with all the facts on the table, I honestly don’t see what is left to mediate.”

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Patafa and Obiena have been feuding since late November regarding the training funds of the Olympian. 

“This all started with accusations my coach wasn’t paid. We all know this is false. 100% false,” wrote Obiena. “Then it shifted to “I paid him late” which I admit to. But as anyone can see tracking the payments to me, all of us involved are collectively late.”

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Obiena and Patafa’s row even led to an investigative hearing in the House of Representatives.

“Then it shifted to ‘I violated liquidation processes’ as shown in the recent House hearing, it’s clear the processes I followed had clear support by the parties involved,” wrote Obiena. “And now, in the ever-shifting witch hunt the clear last gasp of my accusers is to state my sponsors ‘covered’ for me and I never paid them. I can promise you that this is complete fiction and I have prepaid most of it and have repaid every centavo. We have proof of all payments from myself to my sponsor and this will be released into the public domain for transparency.”

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“After this, what is there to mediate? Every accusation had been refuted. What is left is a clearing of my good name, my full reinstatement, and necessary changes to the system to avoid this situation to ever happen again and avoid this burden being placed on athletes.”

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TAGS: EJ Obiena, Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association, Philippine Sports Commission

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