MANILA, Philippines — Senator Pia Cayetano on Tuesday expressed disgust over Philippine Athletics and Track and Field Association’s (Patafa) latest actions against pole vault star EJ Obiena.
“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,” Cayetano said in a statement.
“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,” she added.
The Patafa investigative committee has recommended Obiena’s expulsion from the federation’s National Training Pool of Athletes “effective immediately.”
A criminal case of estafa is also set to be filed by Patafa against the Tokyo Olympian.
“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,” Cayetano went on.
The Philippine Olympic Committee earlier declared Jucio, president of Patafa, a persona non grata following the association’s rift with Obiena.
Cayetano, meanwhile, called on the Philippine Sports Commission (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 senator recalled.
“The PSC even warned in a subsequent statement that it would be constrained to sanction PATAFA should the mediation process fail,” she added.
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