The Philippine Athletics and Track and Field Association (PATAFA) will finally support Olympic pole vaulter EJ Obiena in this year's Southeast Asian Games after Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) announced that the rift between the two has ended.

/ 31 March 2022

PSC conducted their fifth session on Wednesday to settle the Obiena-Patafa conflict where PSC chairman William Ramirez, Obiena, and Patafa president Philip Ella Juico attended.

“The Philippine Sports Commission-led mediation proceedings on the athletics row reached its fifth session today. It is with much joy that we announce that both parties have agreed to a settlement and the proceedings ended successfully,” the PSC said in a statement released Wednesday.

With the rift running for four months and even reaching the Senate and the House of Representatives, the conflict has finally ended with Obiena apologizing to Patafa, Juico, the board members, and his teammates. 

“After the fifth session, (PATAFA chief Philip) Juico, Mr. Obiena and Chairman Ramirez met in a private virtual room for discussion. Mr. Obiena expressed his apologies to PATAFA, its board members, Mr. Juico and his teammates, and both have assured each other of forgiveness, to start anew and move on,” said the PSC.

The Obiena-Patafa issue has dragged the name of the latter with public commentaries but with the said development, Filipinos should not worry as Patafa will endorse and support Obiena in this year’s Southeast Asian Games and the World Athletics Championship.

Ramirez barred that it was humility that led to the successful mediation, and thanks to behind the mediation process such as the Office of the Solicitor General through Assistant Solicitor General Bernard Hernandez, and the Philippine Dispute Resolution Center, Inc. through its executive director Atty. Arleo Magtibay, Jr. and member Atty. Charlie Ho, and the PSC mediation team, led by Atty. Guillermo B. Iroy, Jr., PSC’s executive director.