‘Huwag ihalo ang pulitika sa sports’ — Go

‘Huwag ihalo ang pulitika sa sports’ — Go

By Ernie Reyes

MANILA — The chairman of the Senate Committee on Sports Christopher “Bong” Go has once again urged the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) to facilitate the faster resolution to the ongoing rift between Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) and national pole vaulter and Olympian Ernest John “EJ” Obiena.

In an interview after the soft opening of Davao Occidental General Hospital in Malita on Tuesday, March 15, Go reiterated his disappointment amid the conflict between PATAFA and Obiena which hindered the latter from competing in the World Athletics Indoor Championships to be held in Belgrade, Serbia this month.

“Ako po, full support ako sa mga atleta. Pero sana naman po tama na po ‘yung pulitika. Ang ibig sabihin, kung maaari po ay magkaisa kayo para sa ating bansa dahil may mga future competitions pa tayong inaasahan at may potential po itong si Obiena,” Go appealed.

“Ang akin naman po rito, kung maaari lang po hayaan n’yo na lang po sa politiko ‘yung pulitika. Huwag n’yo na pong ihalo sa sports dahil kawawa po ‘yung atleta. Nakikiusap po kami sa inyo, magkaisa na po kayo,” he stressed.

Go had earlier led a joint meeting of the Senate Committees on Sports and Finance regarding the PATAFA-Obiena row wherein it was recommended for the PSC to work closely with the National Sports Associations (NSA) and Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) to ensure that the rift will be resolved immediately and to avoid similar conflicts in the future.

“Alam n’yo po noong February 7, bilang Chair ng Senate Committee on Sports, nagpatawag ho ako ng hearing…Ang huling usapan magkakaroon po ng mediation between the PSC, PATAFA and of course kay Obiena. Alam n’yo nakakalungkot po na kaya nga po ‘we win as one’ ibig sabihin tulungan among PSC, NSA at mga atleta,” Go lamented.

“Tapusin n’yo na po ‘yung problema diyan. Alam n’yo naman talaga… sa totoo lang, kung gusto n’yo talagang ayusin kaya ninyong ayusin. Kung mayroong mag-give way sa isa’t isa. Iyon lang po ang pakiusap ko po sa inyo. Magkaisa po kayo, ayusin n’yo po,” he reiterated.

The senator then reassured that the welfare of Filipino athletes and the development of sports in the country remain as one of his priorities. He also stressed that he will continue looking into possible measures that would benefit more Filipino athletes and prevent similar conflicts from recurring.

“Ako naman po, kung anong batas na pwede nating isulong – willing to study, pag-aralan natin anong batas na puwede nating isulong para po hindi na po mangyari ang mga ganitong pangyayari sa future,” Go remarked.

He stressed that the athletes should be able to focus on their training instead of other matters that would distract them from achieving their goals.

“Mentally… draining po ‘yon. Nakaka-drain po ‘yon ng utak ‘no dahil habang nagte-training ka, dapat focus ka lang sa iyong pagte-training. Dapat iyong pagkukuwenta, pag-liquidate ng pera dapat mayroong ibang taong mamamahala doon,” Go noted.

“Trabaho na po ng ating nasa gobyerno o halimbawa mayroong accountable officer para diyan sa bagay na ‘yan. Hindi ‘yung kailangan pa niyang… siya pa ‘yung kailangang mag-liquidate… Importante po rito huwag na natin ipasa ‘yung burden sa ating mga atleta. Focus lang ‘yung atleta para dito sa pagte-training niya,” he added. (ai/mtvn)

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