Obiena relishes 'closure' from PATAFA issue after PSC, COA clearance

Luisa Morales - Philstar.com
Obiena relishes 'closure' from PATAFA issue after PSC, COA clearance
EJ Obiena in a photo from his official Instagram account on July 18, 2021.
Instagram / ernestobienapv

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine pole vaulter EJ Obiena has found closure from his months-long rift with National Sports Association (NSA) Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA).

This after Obiena's liquidation of his funds received clearance from both the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and the Commission on Audit (COA).

Obiena posted a copy of the COA clearance dated March 31 on social media on Friday.

"5-months long of events have finally come to a close. The liquidation of all my funds have been cleared by the PSC (Philippine Sports Commission) with the attached Credit Notice from COA (Commission on AUDIT). All related expenditures are in order and there are no Notice of Suspension nor Notice of Disallowance," wrote Obiena.

"We now have closure. I would like to be back and focus on training and competing for the country with my teammates in PATAFA and its officials," he added.

Obiena and PATAFA's row began with allegations of mishandling of funds from Obiena, as the NSA alleged that Obiena missed out on paying his coach Vitaly Petrov despite the funds given to him for his salary.

The 26-year-old's liquidation reports were also called into question.

The months-long brouhaha did not come without any collateral damage, though, as Obiena was forced to miss a stint in the World Indoor Championships because of the non-endorsement of PATAFA.

PATAFA chief Philip Juico was also declared persona non grata by the Philippine Olympic Committee for some time because of how he handled the issue with Obiena.

Still, through mediation of the PSC, all things were ironed out.

And in record time too, as now Obiena is expected to defend his gold medal in the 31st Southeast Asian Games set in Hanoi this May.

His SEA Games stint was in peril should PATAFA refuse to endorse him anew.

But with the rift set aside, PATAFA and Obiena seem to have let bygones be bygones and now shift their focus on coming out with a good performance in the biennial meet.

"We now eye with 100% focus the upcoming SEA Games. We will do our very best to represent the Philippines," said Obiena.



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