LIKE embattled Ernest John “EJ” Obiena, Tokyo Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn F. Diaz ran into liquidation problems too in the past.

But she found ways to solve it.

“For me, there is a need to talk between NSA (national sports association) and EJ to resolve this,” said Ms. Diaz during Monday’s Senate hearing presided over by Committee on Sports chair Christopher “Bong” Go.

“This should not be a problem by an athlete like EJ. This has been a practice from the start. And thankfully, Sir (Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas president) Monico (Puentevella) and I have patched things up and we chose to communicate with each other and for the better.

“And we all know it resulted to me winning gold in the Olympics. And it was because we united and Sir Monico listened to what were my needs as an athlete,” she added.

Meanwhile, Mr. Go urged the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) to prioritize athletes’ welfare.

“My priority is to avoid this controversy from happening again,” said Mr. Go.

Mr. Go was referring the spat of Mr. Obiena with the PATAFA, which accused the former of allegedly falsifying liquidations concerning Ukrainian coach Vitaly Petrov.

Mr. Obiena repeatedly denied it.

The lawmaker from Davao also called on the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) to mediate.

PSC chairman William Ramirez had actually initiated mediation twice but Mr. Obiena declined the same number of times.

“It’s high time for the PSC to get in the middle and mediate and not get Senate to be the referee here. We here can maybe draft and enact a law to strengthen the PSC because of this,” said Mr. Go.

“Let’s finish this and the PSC should mediate,” he added. — Joey Villar