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Bong Go co-sponsors resolution congratulating, commending Obiena

September 20, 2022 People's Journal 284 views

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For winning gold medals after a successful European campaign

SENATOR Christopher “Bong” Go co-sponsored and co-authored Adopted Senate Resolution No. 18 congratulating Filipino pole vaulter Ernest John “EJ” Obiena who has recently topped the Golden Fly Series in Liechtenstein and the Gala dei Castelli in Switzerland this month. The resolution was principally sponsored by Senator Pia Cayetano.

In his co-sponsorship speech, Go commended the decorated athlete saying, “I would like to express my sincerest gratitude and deepest admiration for the country’s best pole vaulter and among the best in the world, Ernest John “EJ” Obiena.”

Obiena bagged the gold medal at the Golden Fly Series in Liechtenstein after clearing 5.71 meters on September 11. He also competed at the Gala dei Castelli in Switzerland held on September 12 where he bagged another gold medal and set a new meet-record of 5.81m.

Prior to this, Obiena won the silver medal in the Das Internationale Stadionfest Berlin (ISTAF) Berlin in Germany on September 4. Two days earlier, in Belgium, Obiena astounded everyone by defeating world champion Armand Duplantis and clearing 5.91 meters to win the gold medal at the Brussels Diamond League.

“With these triumphs, it is no doubt that EJ deserves the recognition and commendation of this esteemed hall. Salamat sa iyong mga pagsisikap na magbigay ng karangalan sa ating bansa,” said Go.

“Ang panalo mo ay isang inspirasyon para sa lahat ng iyong mga kababayan lalo na sa panahon ngayon na napakarami ng hamon na kinakaharap ng bansa at ng buong mundo,” he added.

Earlier this year, Go, as chair of the Senate Sports Committee, helped in the resolution of the dispute between Obiena and the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association. The senator led a joint hearing with the Committee on Finance regarding the PATAFA-Obiena row wherein it was recommended for the Philippine Sports Commission to work closely with the National Sports Associations and Philippine Olympic Committee to ensure that the rift will be resolved immediately and to avoid similar conflicts in the future.

“Ang panalo mo ay panalo ng sambayanang Pilipino kaya naman proud na proud kami sa iyo. Bilang Committee Chair on Sports, nandidito po ako. Full support po ako sa inyo,” said Go.

“Nung nagpatawag po si (Senator) Ma’am Pia (Cayetano) ng pagdinig tungkol doon sa naging problema, masaya po ako, finally naayos na po yung gusot,” he added.

Go commended the resolution of the dispute and reiterated that unity among and full support from the Filipino people are essential, especially in sports, wherein the pride and glory of the country are at stake.

“Naalala ko noon na may mga naging balakid kay EJ Obiena. We even had a hearing last Congress in the Committee on Sports to help settle the issue,” remarked the senator.

“Masaya ako na naresolba na nga po ito at patuloy na ang pakikilahok ng ating world champion sa international competitions. Patunay na kapag nagkakaisa po tayo, malayo ang ating mararating,” he added.

With the support of fellow senators and government officials, Go emphasized his continued support for the growth of the nation’s sports program at the grassroots level. The senator stated that if government support and opportunities are provided, Filipino athletes can excel in their chosen sports.

“Muli ko ring binibigyang-diin ang aking walang humpay na suporta at pangako para isulong at palaganapin ang nationwide grassroots sports program, sa tulong po ng Finance natin, Senator Angara, full support po siya sa ating mga sports program,” Go said.

“Alam naman po natin kung gaano kahusay ang mga atletang Pilipino lalo na kapag nabibigyan lamang sila ng tamang oportunidad, pag-alalay at suporta,” he added.

Ending his speech, Go assured Obiena and all Filipino athletes that the government will keep supporting them so they are able to compete and remain competitive on the international level.

“Magtulungan po tayong lahat upang muli nating maibalik ang ating bansa sa mapa ng isports,” he said.

“Finally, it is my hope that EJ’s success will give other young Filipino athletes the confidence and faith they need to succeed in their chosen sports,” concluded Go.

Earlier, Go introduced the Philippine National Games (PNG) Act of 2022 in the Senate which seeks to ensure a more inclusive system of promoting promising Filipino athletes who possess potential in various fields of sports to be given an equal opportunity of becoming future contenders in international sporting competitions and cement the country’s status as a ‘Sports Powerhouse in Asia’.

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