MANILA – Senator Pia Cayetano on Thursday said she is looking forward again to seeing world-ranked Filipino pole vaulter Ernest John “EJ” Obiena compete as she lauded the successful resolution of the disputes between the Tokyo Olympian and the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA).
“It’s over! This long-running ordeal between world No. 5 Olympian pole vaulter Ernest Obiena and his national sports association, PATAFA has come to an end,” Cayetano said in a statement.
On Wednesday, the Philippine Sports Commission announced that Obiena and PATAFA have finally settled their misunderstandings as PSC chairman William “Butch” Ramirez succeeded in reconciling the two parties through the mediation process.
The PSC also said PATAFA has also endorsed Obiena to play in the Southeast Asian Games in May in Hanoi, Vietnam and the 2022 World Outdoor Athletics championship in Oregon from July 15 to 24 this year.
“All details regarding the mediation are confidential,” Cayetano, member of the Senate committee on youth and sports, said.
Cayetano earlier filed a motion to cite PATAFA Board in contempt after finding the athletic body escalating the conflict and disobeying the orders of the Senate panel to settle differences with Obiena.
The PATAFA initially excluded Obiena from the list of national athletes who will see action in the Vietnam SEA Games and other major international sports events, including the World Athletics Indoor Championships held in Belgrade, Serbia from March 18 to 20.
"I look forward to seeing EJ jump again for the honor and glory of our country!" Cayetano said. (PNA)
Senator Pia Cayetano (left) with world-ranked Filipino pole vaulter EJ Obiena. (Photo from Philippine Senate website)