POC ethics committee sets probe on Obiena-PATAFA row

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 27 2021 04:27 AM

The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) has tasked its ethics committee to start next week its probe on a complaint filed by Olympian pole vaulter Ernest EJ Obiena against the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA).

Obiena’s complaint was filed before the Athletes Commission and Safe Sports Technical Working Group, according to POC President Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino.

“The POC assures that it will resolve the issues with expediency and hold people who are accountable,” Tolentino said.

Obiena’s complaint—lodged against the PATAFA and its president, Philip Ella Juico—borders on alleged harassment, attempting to collude with coaches to fabricate statements, coercing to solicit doctor-patient privileged communication, psychological abuse, bullying, and neglect of duty.

The ethics committee is chaired by rowing’s Patrick Gregorio with sailing’s Ernesto Echauz and bridge’s Gerry Alquiros as members.

The POC, Tolentino said, also ordered the PATAFA to cease from further releasing media statements in order to prevent further damage they could bring to Philippine sports.

Obiena and Vitaly Petrov went online on Sunday to air their grievances against PATAFA's claim that the multi-medalist athlete didn’t pay the salary of his legendary pole vaulting coach.

Obiena claimed otherwise and this prompted PATAFA to changing its accusation from non-payment to late payment of the Ukranian’s salaries.

Earlier this week, the Senate budget committee withheld its approval of the Philippine Sports Commission’s 2023 budget unless the sports agency fixes the row.