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PATAFA defers decision to drop EJ Obiena from PH team

EJ Obiena will be staying in the national team for now. Reuters (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—A day after Philippine Sports Commission chairman Butch Ramirez called on everyone to resolve the dispute between the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association and EJ Obiena "like sportsmen," PATAFA made a huge move.

On Thursday, PATAFA revealed that it is deferring its initial decision to file estafa charges against Obiena and drop him from the national team.

In a letter sent to Ramirez, which was made public, PATAFA chairman Rufus Rodriguez said that the deference was in line with the PSC and even MalacaƱang's latest comments on the issue.

"In deference to the comments made by MalacaƱang 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 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 weeks," Rodriguez said in his letter.

He added that PATAFA is ready to undergo mediation to finally end their spat with Obiena once and for all.

"PATAFA strongly urges all the parties to submit to PSC mediation and explain the matter of liquidation at the said forum," Rodriguez further wrote, adding that PATAFA already said yes to mediation on Dec. 7.

This means the PSC should now be waiting for a response from Obiena.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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