POC blasts Patafa for bringing EJ Obiena rift to Court of Arbitration for Sport
MANILA, Philippines–The long-running feud between pole vaulter Ernest John Obiena and the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association has reached the Court of Arbitration for Sport and it doesn’t sit well with the Philippine Olympic Committee.
“So what happened to the truce forged through the Senate? The mediation that both parties agreed on before our honorable Senators?’’ said POC president and Rep. Abraham “Bambol’’ Tolentino after emerging from the POC executive board meeting on Wednesday at the Knights Templar Ridge Hotel in Tagaytay City.
Patafa president Philip Ella Juico filed a “statement of appeal’’ with the CAS, the global tribunal for sports-related disputes, on Feb. 11 with Obiena and the POC as respondents, prompting the POC to question the motive just four days after both parties agreed to submit themselves to mediation.
It was during the Senate hearing early last month that Obiena and Patafa officials gave their consent to the mediation in front of Senate Committee on Sports Chairman Christopher Lawrence “Bong’’ Go, who presided over the gathering.
Also present during the Senate inquiry were Senators Francis “Tol” Tolentino, Pia Cayetano, Franklin Drilon and Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa as well as Philippine Sports Commission Chairman William Ramirez and Tolentino.
“Where’s the good faith there?’’ asked Tolentino. “The POC thought they (Patafa) were for mediation and even EJ already agreed to the procedure.’’
The POC executive board has authorized Tolentino to hire a lawyer and appoint a CAS juror. A still undetermined amount of fees for the defense team will likewise be appropriated by the local Olympic body.
The complaint cited the POC’s breach of jurisdiction on the Obiena issue, dismissal of the case Obiena filed with the POC through its athletes commission and withdrawal of the persona non grata sanction on Juico.
POC Chief Legal Counsel Atty. Wharton Chan said the POC could not be cited on issues over jurisdiction on the Obiena case since “the POC is not a judicial body but a corporate one and the focal issue in on attitude and unethical conduct.’’
The persona non grata decision on Juico stemmed from Obiena’s harassment complaint against the Patafa chief.
The CAS has been created by the International Olympic Committee to resolve “sports-related disputes submitted to it through ordinary arbitration or through appeal against the decisions of sports bodies and organizations.’’
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