Senator Pia Cayetano went on social media to express her disgust with the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association’s decision to not endorse EJ Obiena’s participation in the 2022 World Athletics Indoor Championships.
The Worlds takes place from March 18-20 in Belgrade, Serbia.
Obiena qualified for the event after meeting the mark of 5.81-meters during the Orlen Cup.
“Wow, PATAFA, your actions demonstrate the worst of Philippine sports!” tweeted the 55-year-old lawmaker, who is also a sportsman.
“Talagang okay lang sa inyo na wala tayong representative sa mga major international sports competitions?”
The Senate had thought that both Obiena and PATAFA have agreed to enter mediation during the inquiry they had last February 7.
However, the National Sports Association headed by president Philip Juico still pushed through in filing a case against the country’s ace pole vaulter in the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Besides this, Obiena was not added to PATAFA’s pool for the 31st Southeast Asian Games this May and the 19th Asian Games this September.
“Despite EJ Obiena’s detailed explanation at the Senate hearing proving that his coach has been fully paid, and which the latter has affirmed, PATAFA rejected his request to be endorsed to compete in the SEA Games, Asian Games, and other world athletics events,” lamented Cayetano.
For Cayetano, PATAFA has chosen to not side with the Filipino people in giving them proper representation in athletic meets.
And for that, Cayetano condemned the NSA.
“PATAFA has chosen to deprive Filipinos of being represented by this talented young man who holds the Asian record, has reached Top Three in the world pole vault rankings, and was No. 1 in the Orlen Cup and Orlen Copernicus Cup in Europe,” she said.
“The Philippines deserves better than PATAFA.”