PATAFA open to mediation

Joey Villar – The Philippine Star

November 28, 2021 | 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) president Philip Ella Juico is amenable to the proposal of Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman William Ramirez to have the impasse with Olympian pole-vaulter EJ Obiena mediated on.

“We’re okay with it. We’re fine,” said Juico during yesterday’s Power and Play program at One PH.

“I’m a former chairman of the PSC. If a successor of mine is requesting this, I have to honor him (Ramirez) and the institution that I once represented,” he added.

Juico, however, said he would have to seek advice and approval of the PATAFA board before he could agree on anything.

“I told him, out of courtesy, I support you all the way but I have to clarify this with the board of directors of PATAFA,” said Juico.

The PSC has suggested mediation with hopes of coming up with a resolution to the Obiena-PATAFA impasse.

The PATAFA is looking into a case of alledged falsification of liquidation documents against the 24-year-old World No. 5 and Asian record-holder concerning payments to Ukrainian coach Vitaly Petrov.

Obiena has denied all the accusations.

Juico also lashed out at American track coach and sports patron Jim Lafferty for fanning the fire by claiming several countries have approached the Southeast Asian Games gold medalist regarding a change in citizenship.

“If it’s true, he (Lafferty) should mention what countries?” said Juico.

The former PSC chief belied claims that Obiena was neglected.

“EJ was provided about P40 million for his training in the last five to six years. That is probably more than what Hidilyn Diaz, Nesthy Petecio, Eumir (Marcial) and Carlo Paalam got. Probably, combined,” said Juico.