Obiena finally gets PATAFA's SEA Games backing as months-long rift ends

Joey Villar - Philstar.com
Obiena finally gets PATAFA's SEA Games backing as months-long rift ends
EJ Obiena and athletics chief Philip Juico

MANILA, Philippines – All’s well that ends well for World No. 5 pole vaulter EJ Obiena and the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association after the two agreed to put an end to their row that lasted five months.

Philippine Sports Commission chairman William Ramirez, who initiated and presided over the mediation, on Wednesday bared the good news that resulted to the PATAFA finally agreeing to endorse Obiena to represent the country in the Hanoi Southeast Asian Games set May 12 to 23 and the World Championships slated July 15 to 24 in Eugene, Oregon in the United States.

Both parties have also agreed that Obiena’s participation in other events including the Hangzhou Asian Games scheduled Sept. 10 to 25 will be subject to the usual rules and regulations of PATAFA that would be implemented to all national athletes not just for the Asian record-holder.

“It is with much joy that we announce that both parties have agreed to a settlement and the proceedings ended successfully,” said Ramirez, who bared the news in advance after saying yesterday that he would announce Thursday.

The Office of the Solicitor General thru Assistant Solicitor General Justice Bernard Hernandez, and the Philippine Dispute Resolution Center, Inc. through its Executive Director Atty. Arleo Magtibay and member, Atty. Charlie Ho, lent their expertise, guidance, and support to the historic mediation proceedings, together with the PSC mediation team led by PSC executive director Atty. Guillermo B. Iroy, Jr.

Ramirez said both Obiena and PATAFA president Philip Ella Juico showed humility by apologizing to each other and letting bygones be bygones.

“Mr. Obiena expressed his apologies to PATAFA, its board members and his teammates, and both have assured each other forgiveness, to start anew and start over,” said Ramirez.

“Humility played a big part in this process,” he added.





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