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PSC Chairman Ramirez calls for humility among Obiena, PATAFA, POC


The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) has sought the assistance of experts in mediating the highly-publicized rift between Olympian EJ Obiena and the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA).

Chairman William ‘Butch’ Ramirez said that the agency will receive help from the Philippine Dispute Resolution Center, Inc. – led by President Atty. Edmundo Tan and Executive Director Arleo Magtibay Jr. – in settling the dispute.

“The PSC has no expertise on mediation,” the long-time executive told the Philippine Sportswriters’ Association Forum webcast, Tuesday.

“So, we had a memorandum of agreement with the Philippine Dispute Resolution Center with Atty. Tan and Atty. Magtibay, who will sit down with me to assist me and Atty. [Guillermo] Iroy, my executive director in the mediation,” he added.

It could be remembered that the PSC previously backed out of its mediation offer in resolving the impasse between the warring sides.

Now, Ramirez and Co. are hoping that both parties will submit to the arbitration just so they can all begin the process of patching things up. The controversy has hounded the local sports scene for nearly a couple of months.

“Without humility from all sides — EJ, PATAFA, POC — without humility, without generosity, respect, and forgiveness, it’s impossible to resolve the disputes even if PDRC will sit down with us with the expertise on mediation,” he said.

“If EJ is listening, if PATAFA is listening, if POC is listening, I know you have your own politics there. The PSC is just trying to resolve and protect the athletes — even protect the PATAFA. After all, PATAFA is a good organization.

“Humility, generosity, respect, and forgiveness are extremely important in the midst of mediation,” the amiable executive reiterated.

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Ramirez said that the agency has been in communication with both Obiena and PATAFA, particularly with its president Philip Ella Juico, regarding the issue. However, whatever’s been discussed shouldn’t be told to the public.

“We were backchanneling EJ, we were talking to Popoy Juico of PATAFA, we were talking to the chairman of PATAFA. We don’t reveal what we have discussed because it is a violation, a mortal sin on mediation,” he said.

Ramirez also took the time in the session presented by San Miguel Corporation, MILO, Amelie Hotel, Braska Restaurant, and PAGCOR to call for others to refrain from adding fuel to the fire as the controversy garnered lots of opinions.

“To all those people who have not understood the very essence why these things happen and the laws of sports etcetera, please. Stop talking,” he said.

“Let the athlete, PATAFA, POC, PSC resolve this problem in the Olympism ideals of excellence, respect, friendship, and understanding.”

Moving forward, Ramirez has his fingers crossed that all the parties involved will come together and help solve the issue once and for all.

“I cannot do it alone. Together, we’ll resolve this dispute through compromises. Let’s do it together like what we did in the SEA Games, Asian Games, and Olympics. Let’s finish the race together,” said the 71-year-old sportsman.

“Mediation is not easy. It’s difficult. And even treacherous. But we have to do it for our children and our people. Mediation has no deadlines. Our term ends on June 30, 2022. We don’t want to leave PSC with these disputes hanging.”

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

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