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Solon seeks to defund PATAFA for not endorsing Obiena to WIC │ GMA News Online

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Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA) party-list Representative Jericho Nograles called on the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) to defund the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) following the non-endorsement of Filipino Olympian and world no. 5 EJ Obiena in the World Indoor Championships (WIC).

In a press release, the lawmaker said the PSC should cut all its support for PATAFA, saying that it is only wasting the taxpayers’ money. Nograles said other foundations and private institutions funding PATAFA should directly give their support to track and field athletes.

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Nograles said PATAFA not endorsing Obiena in the WIC only shows that “its existence is not for the best interest of Philippine sports.”

“The PSC should stop funding PATAFA and direct all support to individual athletes. PATAFA has lost all the moral right to represent the Philippines as an NSA because of its action against Obiena. We are just wasting taxpayers’ money on PATAFA,” Nograles said.

PATAFA president Philip Ella Juico said the lawmaker lacks “clear picture” of how the country’s sports system works.

“NSAs (national sports associations) are private organizations that use officers’ personal funds for administrative expenses of the NSAs,” Juico said.

Nograles further urged other government institutions like the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PSCO) to stop giving any support to PATAFA.

He added that the PSC and the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) should make a representation for the Philippines to appeal Obiena’s case to the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and the Asian Athletics Association (AAA).

Obiena has said he was the only top-ranked vaulter who will not be joining the competition. He said the country is paying the price as the “country has not been put first by all.”

On March 8, PATAFA excluded Obiena from the roster for the Southeast Asian Games. With the exclusion also comes non-endorsement for the WIC.

However, the POC slammed PATAFA’s decision and included Obiena’s name on the SEA Games roster.—With JK Carandang/LDF, GMA News

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