PBA commissioner wants Barako players paid in lump sum
This was revealed by Philippine Basketball Association commissioner Atty. Chito Salud to GMANews.TV in an interview Thursday at the PBA Office in Libis, Quezon City.
"The timetable for settlement will be set after total liability is ascertained," said Salud, who met with Barako Bull board representative Raffy Casiao.
Barako Bull has filed a temporary leave of absence for the PBA’s second conference, paving the way for the entry of the Smart Gilas national developmental squad.
With Barako Bull on leave, one of the important matters Salud hopes to settle is the team’s obligations to its present members. The Commissioner gave the guidelines in his meeting with Casiao.
Paano naman yung mga utilities? Lalong mahirap sa kanila. Can you imagine kung paano sila nag-Pasko? Ang lungkot ng Pasko namin. Sana huwag na umabot ito sa Pasko ng Pagkabuhay.
"They have to give the team members’ back wages in lump sum amount, and they have to submit to the PBA a document that specifies how much amount went to this player or team member along with the team members’ conforme," said Salud.
Members of the Barako Bull have yet to receive their salaries dating back to December of last year, according to well-known PBA agent Danny Espiritu.
“There are players who have experienced delays in their salaries for more than two months now, yung iba, mahigit pa," said Espiritu, who manages a total of eight players playing for Barako Bull.
Espiritu, who’s been a player agent for more than three decades now, also added that there are players who also have back wages dating back to August of last year.
A member of the squad, who requested anonymity, confirmed this.
“Yes, ako nga, yung half of August hindi pa nababayaran," said the team member. “Ang masakit nito, even yung huling-huling panalo namin nung Fiesta Conference last season against Sta. Lucia, hindi pa nabibigay yung won-game bonus. Yung ibang players na members from last year’s team, eh nalipat na sa ibang teams."
One of Barako Bull’s youngest members also explained that they have thought about bringing the issue to the Commissioner’s Office, but hesitated from doing so for fear that their contracts might not be renewed — and that they could then face the difficult task of getting their back wages.
“Nangyari na yan sa mga dating members ng Barako. They wrote the Commissioner, but when their contracts expired, they weren’t renewed and had a difficult time getting their back wages," said one of the youngest team members.
The team member was referring to John Arigo and Alex Crisano, two former members of the squad, who wrote the PBA Office when they were still playing for the Energy Boosters two seasons ago.
"Apparently, their contracts were not renewed because they instigated the move to write then PBA commissioner Sonny Barrios, complaining about the delays in their salaries," said the team member.
But the agony the team is facing now is more painful to bear for the utility members, according to the team member, once a promising collegiate player who is struggling to find his way in the pro league.
“Paano naman yung mga utilities? Lalong mahirap sa kanila. Can you imagine kung paano sila nag-Pasko? Ang lungkot ng Pasko namin. Sana huwag na umabot ito sa Pasko ng Pagkabuhay."
GMANews.TV called up Casiao and team owner George Chua but they could not be reached at this time. - KY, GMANews.TV