'Magpakumbaba tayo,' PSC chief tells warring parties
Humility is all it really would take for EJ Obiena and athletics chief Philip Ella Juico to thresh out their differences, according to Philippines Sports Commission (PSC) chief William "Butch" Ramirez.
Ramirez has been pressing for mediation between the Olympic pole vaulter and the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) chief. But it won't work if no one is willing to give way, he said.
"Akin lang sanang pakiusap, magpakumbaba tayo sa isa't isa kasi mediation is still the best option. Kung ayaw ng mediation, mag-usap na lang kayong dalawa," said Ramirez in the People Sports Conversations on Thursday.
“Kung ako lang, magpakumbaba si EJ Obiena. Huwag masyadong makinig sa mga tao around him. Si Popoy (Juico) dapat will act like a father to EJ Obiena.”
The two are locked in a bitter dispute involving the liquidation of finances related to the salary of Obiena's coach Vitaly Petrov.
For the second time, Ramirez initiated the mediation between the two parties, but Obiena backed out while accusing Juico of "manipulating facts."
The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) sided with Obiena, officially declaring Juico as persona non grata.
Ramirez said the feud is putting Philippine sports in a bad light, especially as it involves public funds.
"Nakakahiya sa taong bayan na siyang nag-funding. Nakakahiya sa mga politiko na nag-allocate ng pera. Nakakahiya sa presidente. Nakakahiya sa ibang bansa na pinag-uusapan tayo," he said.
“Mag-usap na lang silang dalawa,” he added. “If they continue to bite each other, walang katapusan ('yan).”