Just prolonging the agony


WHAT ethics are we trying to establish here?

EJ Obiena broke ethics when he made a delayed payment of his coach’s salaries from 2018 to 2020 or thereabouts?

Since when is the non-payment in time of one’s salaries a crime?

It’s a minor offense at the most.  The flaw is not fatal.

Coach Vitaly Petrov’s fees have been delivered minus a demand letter.  He has attested to that, thereby freeing Obiena of any liability.

The ethics committee headed by rowing chief Pato Gregorio might just be wasting time digging for unethical conduct in the Obiena case.

Olympic president Bambol Tolentino a bit overreacting when he formed the ethics committee?

Obiena’s mother federation, the Patafa (Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association) headed by Philip Ella Juico, has charged the ace pole vaulter from Tondo, Manila, of stealing Petrov’s salary.

When the accusation was proven false, Patafa would next charge Obiena with delayed payments of Petrov’s fees.

Obiena has admitted the delay of payment, citing as reason his being overworked, which is true.  He’s into multi-tasking actually—being an elite athlete and a bookkeeper, if not an accountant, at the same time.

It’s not easy mixing figures from pole vault meterage with debit and credit balance sheet.  Obiena is probably the only Olympian and paymaster rolled into one.

Does that make Patafa guilty of ethical standards, sparked by its seemingly failed bid to label Obiena a thief?  Not to mention accusing Obiena of falsifying liquidation papers pertaining Petrov’s salaries?

“We are looking into this matter with utmost concern and collating pertinent information from both Patafa and Mr. EJ Obiena to ensure due process,” Gregorio said.

For its part, the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman Butch Ramirez expressed dismay over the refusal of both Obiena and Patafa to submit themselves to a mediation.

“The parties owe it to the government and the Filipino people to resolve the issues amicably,” Ramirez said.  “A failed mediation will be detrimental to both parties.”

Ramirez said all he wanted was to help heal the wounds between Obiena and Patafa.

“My role is not to decide who is right or wrong,” Ramirez said. “Mediation can make parties to reconcile, open communication lines and continue the work ahead of us.”

Instead of approaching the issue separately, can POC and PSC please sing the same tune to expedite a quick solution?

A protracted method hatched from different directions will only prolong the agony.  It might even lead to exposing more dirty linen in public.

THAT’S IT The exodus to Japan of our basketball players seems unstoppable.  A Grade A cager nets at least P1.2 million a month, a Grade B no lower than P400,000.  The color of money has always been that hard to ignore.

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