SENATE President Vicente Sotto III on Thursday stressed that Olympian EJ Obiena should be allowed to concentrate on his training instead of being sidetracked by threatened lawsuits for alleged misuse of funds.

/ 7 January 2022

“Leave EJ alone. Allow him to focus on his tournaments,” said Sotto, himself a former national athlete who represented the country in international bowling competitions. 

“I was a national athlete too and I feel the frustration that our pole vaulter is feeling now. It’s hard to train in another country without your family and the culture that you are used to,” he added.

Sotto stressed that athletes represent the country at a different level and they should be getting support and not being attacked by sports associations. 

The senator said the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) should have settled its differences with Obiena privately and not broadcasted its gripes to the media. 

“The issue was handled unprofessionally. What was PATAFA thinking when it attacked our athlete? All persons involved in this mess should meet privately and resolve their issues without the glare of cameras,” Sotto added.