By KRISTEL SATUMBAGA
The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) has put the mediation between EJ Obiena and the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (Patafa) on hold after the pole vaulter declined to participate in the proceedings.
In a statement Tuesday, the PSC disclosed it has already received communication from Obiena’s camp through his lawyer via email that the Tokyo Olympian “will no longer participate in the mediation proceedings.”
Despite the development, the government sports agency still believes that “mediation is still the best option to resolve this matter.”
Patafa had earlier signed the mediation agreement two weeks ago with president Philip Juico, Atty. Aldrin Cabiles and Alfonso Sta. Clara set to represent in the process.
While Obiena believes in the mediation process and trusted PSC chairman Butch Ramirez to handle the matter well, the 26-year-old national record holder said entering the said proceedings with Patafa “is a recipe for failure.”
“Patafa was in bad faith the whole time as they signed the mediation with their true intention to still pursue the filing of a baseless criminal case of estafa against me,” Obiena said in a written statement posted on social media Monday.
Meanwhile, the PSC said its accounting office and the Commission on Audit shall proceed with their normal post-audit process of checking and verification on the liquidation documents that Obiena submitted last Jan. 21.