The board of the Philippine Sports Commission has yet to receive the signed copies of the Mediation Submission Agreement sent by the agency to both the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association and EJ Obiena’s camp last Thursday.
The situation has become concerning, as both sides continue to trade jabs on different platforms. This has painted Philippine sports in a “bad light.”
PATAFA is led by president Popoy Juico. Meanwhile, Obiena has Alex Avisado and the Gana Tan Atienza Avisado Law Offices as his legal counsel and Jim Lafferty as his spokesperson.
“Again, my role is to facilitate communication between the parties, not to decide who is right or wrong,” said PSC chairman Butch Ramirez. “Mediation is the best option for now so the parties can reconcile, open communication lines, and continue the work that needs to be done. The parties owe it to the government and the Filipino people to resolve the issues amicably.
“A failed mediation will be detrimental to both parties.”
PSC understands that the other aspect of the dispute involves an internal process within the PATAFA and World Athletics. This notwithstanding, the PSC vows to help the parties reach a settlement agreement while protecting government interest.
In a special board meeting on Monday, the PSC Board agreed to set December 15 as a target date. By that time, all parties are expected to have submitted to the proposed mediation.
In relation to the matter, the PSC Board reiterated its position in upholding the implementation of the ‘no liquidation, no funding’ policy. It has so far resulted in an estimated 80-percent decline in unliquidated financial assistances to National Sports Associations.
The agency reminded all NSAs to strictly comply with Commission on Audit Rules to liquidate the financial assistance or any funding received from the PSC within sixty (60) days from completion of the project as required under COA Circular 2007-001 dated October 25, 2007.