Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (Patafa) president Philip Ella Juico said that the ongoing dispute between the institution and EJ Obiena could be cleared at the outset of a dialogue.

/ 28 November 2021

In an interview with Power and Play on Saturday, Juico acknowledged the intervention of PSC but asked to finish the investigation and have a talk with Obiena.

“We can still talk about it. As I said, let us finish the investigation so that we will know what’s going to be the metes and bounds of our discussions,” said Juico.

“There are some people in his entourage who probably might be exacerbating the situation. The less people talk, the better.”

Juico argued that the actions of Obiena’s adviser James Lafferty towards the ‘multiple passports offer from other countries’ was only making the situation worse as it is.

“Ang nagsasabi niyan, si Lafferty, kinakalat niya ‘yan. Eh di sabihin niya kung sino,” said Juico. “Look, we want to finish the investigation and we take it from there. It’s very hard to commit to these things. Baka things that we might do becomes irreversible.”

He contended that the institution was not trying to destroy Obiena nor the sports he was playing but was only protecting them.

“’Yung pagsabog nito, wala kaming kinalaman doon. May nag-leak lang. Hindi kami ganung uri ng tao. Pinoprotektahan din namin ‘yung ating mga tao at ‘yung sport,” said Juico.

The accusation of falsifying liquidation documents against Obiena was said to be a tip-call for PATAFA to investigate in which they also welcome PSC’s help.

“I’m here to explain the policies. As I said, tinawagan ako, nagreklamo, ni-refer ko sa board namin, sinabi sa akin, imbestigahan. Tapos may dumating na bayad, nagtataka kami, anong nangyari sa unang bayad,” said Juico.

Obiena has been supported by the country and PATAFA ever since 2014 whereas his allowances and training expenses are “probably more than what Hidilyn Diaz got when she got the gold medal, Nesthy Petecio, Eumir Marcial, and Carlo Paalam, baka probably combined,” said Juico.

While standing firm that it was PATAFA’s duty to their jobs and responsibilities, Juico cried foul over-exaggerated claims and said that they never neglected Obiena.

“I find it strange na kami na nga ang naglabas ng problemang ito, which is part of our governance, which is part of our task, which is part of protecting government assets, bakit kami ang mapeperwisyo dito,” said Juico.

“’Yung napabayaan siya, wag naman. Hindi naman ganun. ‘Yun ang mali,”