Former Makati Rep. and taekwondo champion Monsour del Rosario urged the Philippine Olympics Committee and the Philippine Sports Commission to join hands in ensuring the completion of the mediation process to end the row involving Filipino Olympian and pole vaulter EJ Obiena.
Del Rosario, who is running for a Senate seat in the May 9 elections, said the recent suspension order on the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) was “quite unjust and aggressive.”
“In the case of PATAFA and EJ Obiena and the ongoing mediation by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), I say let’s sit back a little, control our emotions, and allow cooler heads to prevail… There is an ongoing mediation process and I believe all parties should participate and complete that process first privately before making any rash decisions and public pronouncements,” he said.
Del Rosario said as an athlete and a sports leader himself, he emphasizes with Obiena, but the suspension order on PATAFA would also negatively impact other athletes.
“To see all your hopes and dreams fly away just because of one setback is truly heartbreaking. But I believe it’s not enough reason to bring the whole PATAFA down,” he said.
“Instead of a suspension order that would risk affecting the futures of all other athletes under PATAFA’s care, the POC should join hands with the PSC to compel Obiena and PATAFA to participate and complete the mediation process in accordance with the directive of the Senate Committee on Sports,” Del Rosario added.
According to POC President Rep. Abraham Tolentino, PATAFA was suspended for failing to serve its purpose as a national sports association.
“Our constitution states that POC may suspend for any reason. However, it’s transparent that PATAFA has deliberately and intentionally disregarded our basic principles of promoting sports and development,” Tolentino said.