The Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) and Tokyo Olympian pole-vaulter Ernest John “EJ” Obiena finally agreed to meet for the peacemaking process organized by Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) on Monday.

/ 9 March 2022

The 26-year-old athlete has been in conflict with PATAFA after the federation put Obiena under probe for his alleged failure of paying the salaries of his coach Vitaly Petrov.

Further, the Tondo-born athlete has also been accused of falsifying liquidation reports.

The controversy between PATAFA and Obiena has been in talk for four months, resulting in investigations by the Senate and the House of Representatives.

In the midst of the issue, the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) Executive Board has approved the recommendation of its Ethics Committee that declared athletics chief, Dr. Philip Ella Juico, as persona non grata for “harassment” to the Filipino Olympian.

PSC in December offered to conduct a mediation between the two parties, however, the government sports-funding agency then withdrew its offer in resolving the impasse after Obiena’s declaration that he has declined the talk.

Finally, both parties have agreed now on the possibility of mediating the feud.

Despite the ongoing dilemma, Obiena continued to participate in various tournaments in Europe and is still bringing victories to the country.

The start of the peace talks comes a day after Obiena reset his new national record after clearing 5.91 meters in his second-place finish in competition with France.