SALA SA INIT …: Pataasan ng ihi ang umiiral sa sigalot sa pagitan ni pole vaulter EJ Obiena at PATAFA

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  • Gawin na nila ang gusto nilang gawin. Si Pilipino pole vault Olympian Ernest John Obiena ay mananatiling tapat sa kanyang tungkuling handugan ang bansa ng lahat ng karangalang dapat niyang ibigay sa tanging paraang nalalamann niya.

    Ito ang mensaheng ipinaabot ng 26 anyos na Tondo Boy sa Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) noong Sabado (Linggo sa Maynila).

    Noong araw na iyon, isa na namang hindi malilimutang sandali sa kasaysayan ng palakasan sa bansa, ay tinakbo ni EJ, tinalon at nilipad ang taas na 5.91 metro para makamit ang pangalawang puwesto at angkinin medalyang pilak sa Perche Elite Tour in France.

    Ang pinakabagong pagsisikap na ito ng produkto ng ambisyosong programa para sa ikau-unlad ng palakasan ng Universidad ng Santo Tomas ay sampung sentinetrong ay higit sa 5.81 metrong dating pamantayang naitala ng tinaguriang “Flying Pinoy” sa daigdig ng Asian athletics na naitala niya nang mai-uwi niya ang gintong medalya sa nakaraang Orlen Cup at Orlen Copernicus Cup sa Poland noog Pebrero.

    Ito ay dalawang sentimetro lamang na kulang sa 5.93 metrong dating season personal best niyang naitala ni Obiena sa Golden Roof Challenge sa Austria noong nakaraang taon.

    Si Tokyo Olympics silver medalist Chris Nielsen ng USA ang nakasungkit ng medaltang pilak sa Poland meet samantalang si Rio de Janeiro gold winner Thiago Braz ng Brazil ang tumapos sa likod ng Pilipino sa bronze medal.

    Kaugnay ng kambal na gintong medalya at isang pilak na koleksiyon ni EJ sa nakaraang tatlong kompetisyong nilahukan niya ngayong bagong season ng European Circuit, kinondena ni Philippine Olympic Committee president Araham “Bambol” Tolentino ang PATAFA sa pasiya ng huli na tanggihan ang hiling ni EJ na indorso na makalahok sa apat na malalaki at mahahalagang kompetisyong gaganapin sa taong kasalukyan.

    Ito ay ang world indoors sa Belgrade sa Marso 18-20, 31st Southeast Asian Games sa Hanoi sa Mayo 12-23, World Championships sa Eugene, Oregon sa Hulyo 15-24 at 19th Asian Games sa Hangzhou sa Sityembre 12 -25.

    Ang sagot ng PATAFA sa hiling ni Obiena ay ipinaabot ni National Training Director Renato Unso noong Pebrero 28.

    “Again, how many more gold medals or what more achievements does EJ need to get Patafa’s endorsement?” tanong ni Tolentino na pangulo rin ng Philippine Cycling Federation at kinatawan ng Tagaytay City sa Mababang Kapulungan ng Kongreso sa kanyang pahayag.

    “He’s the best in Asia and his numbers have been rising consistently, but still he’s bound to be denied more medals for the country,” pahimakas ni Cong Bambol na kumakandidatong alkalde ng kanyang siyudad sa darating na halalan.

    Ang humahaba pa at tumatagal na alitan sa pagitan ni Obiena at PATAFA nakarating na sa Court of Arbitration for Sport makaraang si association president Dr. Philip ”Popoy” Ella Juico naglunsad ng reklamo laban sa Olympian at POC noong Pebrero 11.

    Sa kanyang hiling na magkaroon ng indorso, ipinaliwanag ni EJ na ang kambal ng gintong medalyang nakamit niya mula Poland noong nakaraang buwan ay sapat na para maging karapat-dapat na makalahok sa pandaigdig na sa Oregon, SEA Games at Asian Games.

    “My 5.81m jump in my two title wins in the Orlen Cup (Feb. 13) and the Orlen Copernicus Cup (Feb. 23) both in Poland officially made the standard required for the 2022 World Indoor Athletics Championship and 2022 World Athletics Championship,” paniniyak ni Obiena sa kanyang liham sa PATAFA board.

    “It is also better than my 2019 SEA Games gold medal standard and the 2018 Asian Games Gold medal standard,” dagdag pa niya.

    Kapuwa hindi pinahalagahan ng PATAFA ang mga argumentong ito sa dahilang hindi pa umano natatapos na mediation na iminungkahi ng Philippine Sports Commission.

    “By authority of the Patafa Board of Trustees, please be informed that the Patafa Board of Trustees will not act on your letter… pending completion of the mediation process being conducted by the Philippine Sports Commission,” anyang liham ng PATAFA bilang sagot sa hiling ni Obiena.

    Inilarawan ng POC ang aksiyong ito ng PATAFA na paglabag sa integridad ng kasunduan sa pangunguna ng Senado na ma-resolba ang krisis sa pamamaraang pang-lokal.

    Pinangunahan ni Senate Sports Committee Chair Christopher “Bong” Go ang pandinig ng Senado sa presensiya nia Sen. Francis “Tol” Tolentino, Pia Cayetano, Franklin Drilon at Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa.

    “Where’s the good faith there?” tanong ni Cong Bambol. “The POC thought they [Patafa] were for mediation and even EJ already agreed to the procedure.”

    Dagdag ni Tolentino: “Filing a complaint against Obiena and the POC means that Patafa is included in the complaint because Patafa is a member of the organization.”

    Nilikha ng International Olympic Committee ang CAS “to bring about the resolution of sports-related disputes which are submitted to it through ordinary arbitration or through appeal against the decisions of sports bodies or organizations. (Reprinted from Philboxing.com)

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