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PATAFA defers Obiena banishment after Malacañang comments

The Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association deferred EJ Obiena’s possible expulsion from the national team for two more weeks.

This as the Malacañang Palace has called for both parties to be “threshed out” in the proper forum.

“We continue to support all of our athletes, including our star pole vaulter EJ Obiena,” said acting Presidential Spokesperson Karlo Nograles.

“We hope that whatever disagreements that EJ and the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association have, hopefully they will all be threshed out.”

For its part, PATAFA will follow the orders.

“In deference to the comments made by Malacanang and due respect to the PSC and its Board of Trustees further the Statement of the Board, on behalf of the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) Board of Directors, the PATAFA has agreed to defer the implementation of the recommendations made in the Fact-Finding Report dated December 29, 2021 for a period of two (2) weeks,” read the letter of PATAFA chairman Rufus Rodriguez.

“PATAFA strongly urges all the parties to submit to PSC Mediation and explain the matter of liquidation at the said forum.”

Last Tuesday, PATAFA expelled Obiena from the national team, with plans to sue the 26-year-old pole vaulter for estafa. The issue stems from Obiena not being able to liquidate the salary of his head coach Vitaly Petrov.

A day later, the PSC demanded PATAFA to “reconsider their declaration of dropping EJ from their rolls, provide him an appeal mechanism and not to execute their decision immediately.”

In addition, the PSC also ordered Obiena to “immediately finish his liquidation of accounts so that we can continue to support him.”

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