Press Release
September 19, 2022

Senate commends EJ Obiena for huge medal haul

The Senate adopted Monday a resolution congratulating and commending Filipino pole vaulter Ernest John "EJ" Obiena for his largest and most successful medal haul during various pole vaulting competitions in Europe and Asia in 2022.

Senate Resolution No. (SRN) 212 (Adopted Resolution No. 18) introduced by Sen. Pia Cayetano was adopted by the chamber taking into consideration SRNs 63, 71, 87, 97, 164, 170, 177, 179, 220, 222 and 223.

Cayetano in her sponsorship speech said Obiena truly deserves commendation as she expressed hope that the Filipino pole vaulter would continue to be an inspiration to the Filipino youth.

According to the resolution, the 26-year-old athlete is the first Filipino and Asian to win a medal in the World Athletics Men's Pole Vault competition, setting a new Asian, national, and personal record, after clearing 5.94 meters in the event.

"I pray and hope that you continue to be an inspiration to the Filipino youth, continue to be humble, and continue to work hard. As EJ said, to get where he is today is not glamorous work," Cayetano said, adding that Obiena's day-to-day grind of waking up early for training, discipline, and perseverance helped him reach his level as a world-class athlete.

Obiena, who currently ranks 1st in Asia and 3rd in the whole world, has so far garnered 12 gold medals, 11 from various sports events held in Europe and one during the 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games held in Vietnam in May. He also won two silver medals and three bronze medals. Senate President Juan Miguel "Migz" F. Zubiri also praised Obiena in his co-sponsorship speech wherein he particularly mentioned Obiena's victory over world record holder Armand 'Mondo' Duplantis during the Wanda Diamond League in Brussels on September 2, 2022.

"Through it all, EJ has shown incredible grace and maturity beyond his age, rising above challenges and focusing on his goals--not only for himself but also for the country," Zubiri said.

Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva also commended Obiena and thanked him for raising the "flag and country high above for the whole world to see" and for being a hero who always makes his countrymen proud to be Filipino.

"Thank you for giving pride dignity and honor to the Filipino people... Rest assured that the Senate recognizes all your efforts and has your back," Villanueva said.

Other senators who also delivered their respective speeches were Senators Ramon Bong Revilla Jr., Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada, Christopher Lawrence "Bong" Go, Imee Marcos, Francis "Tol" Tolentino and Raffy Tulfo.

"For his spectacular feat as an athlete, Obiena brings great honor and pride to the country, serving as the symbol of success and the spitting image of inspiration and motivation for many other athletes, not just in the country, but also across the world," the resolution stated.

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