EJ Obiena puts 'closure' to spat with PATAFA after PSC clears liquidations

EJ Obiena has completed his liquidation matters with the PSC. Reuters (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--It's a good Friday indeed for EJ Obiena on a Good Friday.

Asia's current pole vaulting king said late into the Philippine holiday from Italy that he has already settled his liquidation matters with the Philippine Sports Commission, which formally put an end to his longstanding issues with the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association.

"The liquidation of all my funds has been cleared by the PSC (Philippine Sports Commission) with the attached Credit Notice from COA (Commission on Audit). All related expenditures are in order and there is no Notice of Suspension or Notice of Disallowance," Obiena said on his Facebook page.

He then attached a letter dated March 31 from the PSC Office of the Auditor confirming what he stated.

Allegations about liquidation woes sparked the Obiena-PATAFA spat which lasted for five months spanning through the Christmas season and the first quarter of 2022.

It led to a chain of events that included PATAFA removing Obiena from the national athletics team, threats of legal actions, and the Philippine Olympic Committee stepping in by declaring PATAFA president Popoy Juico persona non grata and suspending the national sports association in the executive board level.

Obiena and PATAFA already patched things up during the PSC-initiated mediation process last month, but his revelation was basically the icing on the cake.

"We now have closure," Obiena further said.

Now that the row is over, Obiena will now shift his attention to the Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, where he will defend his men's pole vault championship.

"I would like to be back and focus on training and competing for the country with my teammates in PATAFA and its officials.  We now eye with 100% focus the upcoming SEA Games. We will do our very best to represent the Philippines!" Obiena vowed.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno