PSC chairman Butch Ramirez

The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) demanded for a truce between Olympian pole vaulter EJ Obiena and the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (Patafa) to find solutions and end their ongoing dispute.

Speaking in behalf of the Board in a statement Wednesday, PSC chairman Butch Ramirez laid down the following demands that include Obiena to “immediately finish his liquidation of accounts so that we can support him” and Patafa to “reconsider their declaration of dropping EJ from their rolls, provide him an appeal mechanism and not to execute their decision immediately.”

The PSC Board also demanded for the Philippine Olympic Committee “to bridge the two parties as the mother organization of both and reconsider their decision of declaring (Patafa president) Philip Juico persona non-grata on the premise of promoting peace in elite sports.”

It also demanded “for the Patafa, Obiena, the POC and all the parties who wish to stoke the fire of this mad issue to stop.”

“You have all publicly recognized the PSC and asked us to help resolve the issue. Please listen to us on this simple request. Stop issuing public statements and come to the table with us to discuss this matter,” the statement read.

All reports regarding this development were to be relayed to the Office of the President Wednesday afternoon.

It can be recalled that the PSC offered to mediate between Obiena and Patafa last November. Patafa agreed and submitted the required papers to proceed, while Obiena also initially agreed before politely turning it down after he felt that he would not be treated fairly by Patafa during mediation.

“We are sportsmen, proudly calling the Philippines our motherland. Instead of throwing accusations against each other, can we not talk as sportsmen trained and exposed to the core values of Olympism — excellence, friendship, and respect?” the statement read.

PSC also clarified its limitations according to law as public outcry demanded the government sports agency to take certain actions.

“We would like to remind that the PSC is primarily a funding agency, the government’s arm to give its logistical support to the national team in the realm of elite sports. The training, disciplinary efforts and choosing of national team rosters all fall under the baton of the (National Sports Associations) NSAs and their personality in international competitions under the POC. These are the roles that we take in sports,” the statement read.

With the current situation, the PSC said it will start crafting policies and implement stricter guidelines on granting financial assistance to the NSAs, which will now require the submission of a disciplinary code or protocol in case anything like this happens in their sport.

The PSC will also be requiring NSAs to include the policy on arbitration within their by-laws as mandated under Republic Act 11232.

“Failure to comply with these two policies by the end of the month shall constrain the PSC Board to review and reconsider granting of assistance to all non-complying NSAs,” the statement read.

The PSC reiterated it is set to talk separately with the concerned parties and hope that they can all arrive at a resolution as soon as possible.

“We remain committed to the Filipino athletes. Let us come together and find a way to solve this. If not for our own interests, let us do it for the flag and country,” the statement read.

Source: Manila Bulletin (