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Orders all parties to stop issuing public statements
This was the plea sent by Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman William Ramirez on Wednesday to Ernest John “EJ” Obiena and the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) to put an end to the bickering that had put Philippine sports in a bad light locally and internationally.
“We have said this before and we are saying this again, let us resolve this like sportsmen,” said Mr. Ramirez. “The issue has dragged on and have pulled the nation’s name to the mire of negativity in the international sports scene.
“We all pledge our love for country, we must trust that you will heed our call immediately, for love of flag. Para sa Inang Bayan (For our Motherland),” he added.
For this to happen, Mr. Ramirez said Mr. Obiena must finish his liquidation so the PSC can continue to support him and for PATAFA to reconsider its plan of dropping the Olympian pole-vaulter from the national team and provide him an appeal mechanism.
Mr. Ramirez also called on the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) “to bridge the two parties as the mother organization of both and reconsider their decision declaring Mr. (Philip Ella) Juico persona non grata on the premise of promoting peace in elite sports.”
Mr. Ramirez also beseeched Mr. Obiena, PATAFA and the POC to forge a social media truce. “We demand for the PATAFA, EJ, the POC and all the parties who wish to stoke the fire of this mad issue to stop. You have all publicly recognized the PSC and asked us to help resolve the issue, please listen to us on this simple request. Stop issuing public statements and come to the table with us to discuss this matter,” said Mr. Ramirez.
At press time, Mr. Ramirez was talking to Messrs. Obiena and Juico to try once again to come up with resolutions.
The PSC had attempted to mediate as early as November last year, but only PATAFA agreed.
And the sports-funding agency is hoping both parties will agree to sit down and talk this time.
“The PSC board is set to report all related information to the Office of the President this afternoon (Wednesday),” said Mr. Ramirez. — Joey Villar