EJ Obiena says no to mediation with Patafa, cites ‘bad faith’
MANILA, Philippines—Pole vault star EJ Obiena has officially begged off from the Philippine Sports Commission’s (PSC) mediation offer with the Philippine Athletics and Track and Field Association (Patafa).
“It is with great regret that I am forced to officially withdraw from the PSC offer of mediation due to the bad faith of Mr. Juico and PATAFA,” wrote Obiena on social media on Monday.
Obiena, who is being accused by Patafa of misappropriating funds, questioned the federation’s motive for mediation despite the PSC’s guarantee of fair play.
“I thank PSC Chairman Butch Ramirez for his hard work as a peacemaker. I believe in mediation as a tool for peace and have full trust and confidence in the integrity of Chairman Butch Ramirez,” he said.
“Unfortunately, it seems that PATAFA is only using mediation as means to silence me and to keep the truth hidden. They always trumpet that I should go to mediation if I have nothing to hide. I have nothing to hide and that is the reason why I do not want to go to confidential mediation.”
The rift with Patafa, however, won’t keep the Tokyo Olympian from going about with his season following successful knee surgery earlier this month.
The world No. 5 and Asian record holder is expected to begin his campaign in an indoor tournament in Germany on January 28.
“I have lost faith in my NSA president but I have not lost faith in our country and our country’s true sport leaders. I trust that they will set aside politics and do what is right and good for the country.”