The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) slammed the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) and its president Philip Ella "Popoy" Juico for bringing its conflict with pole vaulter EJ Obiena to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

/ 3 March 2022

It was only last February 7 when Patafa and Obiena agreed to a mediation to resolve the said conflict which was followed by a Senate hearing.

The hearing was presided by Senate Committee on Sports Chairman Christopher Lawrence “Bong’’ Go, and attended by Senators Francis “Tol” Tolentino, Pia Cayetano, Franklin Drilon, and Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa as well as Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Chairman William Ramirez and Tolentino. 

However, Patafa seemed to have another thing in mind as Juico filed a “statement of appeal” on February 11 with the POC and Obiena as respondents to the CAS.

The complaint entails POC’s breach of jurisdiction on the Obiena issue, dismissal of the same filed with the POC through its athletes’ commission and withdrawal of the persona non grata sanction on Juico.

As a response, POC president and Rep. Abraham “Bambol’’ Tolentino questioned the motive of Patafa and slammed their course of action.

“So what happened to the truce forged through the Senate? The mediation that both parties agreed on before our honorable Senators?’’ said Tolentino.

“Where’s the good faith there?’’ asked Tolentino. “The POC thought they (Patafa) were for mediation and even EJ already agreed to the procedure.’’

POC Chief Legal Counsel Atty. Wharton Chan also has the same sentiments and said the POC could not be cited on issues over jurisdiction on the Obiena case for “the POC is not a judicial body but a corporate one and the focal issue in on attitude and unethical conduct.’’

For now, Tolentino was authorized by POC to hire a lawyer and appoint a CAS juror.