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Obiena affirms mediation rejection

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The mediation that the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) is hoping for is officially dead.

In a statement, the 26-year-old Obiena confirmed that he had already rejected the government-arranged mediation due to the “bad faith” on the part of Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (Patafa) president Philip Ella Juico.

Obiena questioned the federation’s sincerity in pursuing peace since it is not determined to drop the criminal case that will be charged against him due to his failure to disburse the salary of his coach from 2018 to 2021 and submission of spurious liquidation documents.

“It is with great regret that I am forced to officially withdraw from the PSC offer of mediation due to the bad faith of Mr. Juico and Patafa,” Obiena said, confirming Daily Tribune’s earlier report that he will reject the peace talks being offered by the PSC and Patafa.

“It is a recipe for failure to enter into mediation with one party in bad faith; Patafa was in bad faith this whole time as they signed the mediation with their true intention to still pursue the filing of a baseless criminal case of estafa against me.”

“Patafa has said they want a peaceful resolution, but their actions prove this as a lie. You cannot have peace while pointing a gun at the other guy’s head, and say ‘let’s have a peaceful resolution.’ This is the exact opposite of good faith mediation.”

It, however, seems that Obiena doesn’t really want to enter into a mediation in the first place.

In fact, in a letter that his counsel sent to the PSC last week, Obiena dictated the terms of the peace process, but didn’t affix his signature on the mediation submission agreement form.

He also didn’t provide a specific timeline, saying that his main focus right now is to get himself ready for the looming indoor season in which he is set to campaign in various tournaments around Europe.

This is also not the first time for Obiena to shy away from mending his broken fences with his mother federation.

In fact, shortly after the issue broke out last November, the PSC already arranged a mediation, but Obiena brushed it off, claiming that he would rather wait for the outcome of the Philippine Olympic Committee’s (POC) investigation on the harassment case he filed against Juico.

Now, he is rejecting the mediation anew since the federation president acted on “bad faith” in entering into a truce.

“Obiena said he is willing to enter into a mediation, but doesn’t want to sign the mediation submission agreement form so he can focus on his upcoming competitions,” a source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Daily Tribune last Saturday.

“If he really wants to clean his name, he should enter into a mediation that is being brokered by the PSC. After all, mediation is the best avenue to defend his case — not on social media.”

With Obiena no longer inclined to patch things up with his federation, he is expected to be expelled from the national squad.

With that, he has to go home from his expensive Italian training as he will no longer be given subsidy while Patafa is set to terminate its contract with his coach, Vitaly Petrov, who is also the director of the International Amateur Athletics Federation training center in Formia.

More than that, Patafa will push through with the filing of criminal case against him and his mother and the declaration of his adviser, James Lafferty, as persona non grata.

A federation source said it’s just a matter of time before Obiena’s sacking becomes official.

“It could be as early as this week,” the source said.

“Patafa is already plotting its next move and is expected to write Obiena about his formal expulsion from the national team. It will also inform other parties like the PSC, the POC, the AAA (Asian Athletics Association) and the World Athletics that Obiena is no longer part of the federation.”

 

 

 

 

 

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