Cristina Ramos-Jalasco, former president of the Philippine Olympic Committee, believes that the ongoing rift between pole vaulter EJ Obiena and the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association is an internal issue and must be allowed to be resolved within the national sports association.

EJ Obiena (AFP)

“As it is, public money is involved. The Philippine Sports Commission has released funds to pay for [Vitaly] Petrov’s salary as the national coach for EJ Obiena and of course, the Philippine Olympic Committee [is] coming into the picture because EJ Obiena is a national athlete,” said Ramos-Jalasco in a previous interview in ANC’s After the Fact.

“But by enlarge it is really an internal issue within the Patafa and it should be allowed to be resolved within the Patafa.”

The issue first stemmed from the alleged falsified liquidation records to which Obiena later admitted that the payment for Petrov was already settled despite delays along the way and that there were no fund misuse.

Obiena then sought legal help and claimed harassment allegations from POC president Philip Juico.

The POC declared Juico as persona non-grata while the PSC served as a mediator for both parties and asked the world No. 6 pole vaulter to settle the liquidation records first and the Patafa to reconsider its decision to drop Obiena from the national pool.

For Ramos-Jalasco, Obiena’s decision to come forward to the POC Ethics Committee was not a “wrong move” but she believes that the elite pole vaulter was “jumping the gun so to speak.”

The former POC chief also aired her sentiments on PSC not being “more forceful nor stricter” with its investigation as far as the public money is concerned — in this case, it goes back to Obiena’s liquidation records.

Ramos-Jalasco added that the situation is a “very unusual case” where Obiena “apparently paid his coach three years after.”

“I think this is also something the PSC should be looking in relation to the money that they have released,” she said.

Obiena, for his part, hopes to represent the Philippines still despite the conflict with his indoor season starting soon in late January.

Source: Manila Bulletin (