MANILA - Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Chairman William "Butch" Ramirez has sent a "mediation submission agreement" to both EJ Obiena and the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA).
Ramirez is now looking to become the bridge that might reconcile PATAFA and Obiena, Asia's pole vault record holder.
The agreement, aside from formalizing Ramirez as the mediator, also consists of the rules to be followed and where the meeting between Obiena and PATAFA officials would take place.
"The role of the mediator is merely to facilitate communication, identify issues and help the parties arrive at a settlement," Ramirez said on Thursday.
He clarified, however, that he will be as impartial as possible as they seek an agreement that would put the impasse to an end.
"My role as a mediator is not to decide who is right or wrong. We are after a win-win solution for both sides. The goal is to preserve relationships of the disputing parties," Ramirez further said.
After hearing both sides, the PSC board would convene to map out the next action step in resolving the row.
However, arbitration has been put in place as well if both PATAFA and Obiena fail to settle their differences 30 days after the mediation began.
Ramirez hopes that the impasse ends sooner as he is now worried at both Obiena and PATAFA president Philip Juico, a former PSC chairman.
"I am worried about them both. EJ is carrying this burden all alone overseas, away from family and friends. I am concerned about Mr. Juico's health. The earlier we can sit down and talk, the earlier we can resolve this," Ramirez said. (PNA)