PBA party-list seeks congressional investigation into game-fixing claims
Representative Mark Sambar of the Puersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA) party-list said in an interview on the News to Go program that his group will seek a congressional investigation into allegations of game-fixing within the Philippine Basketball Association, after one player was fined and suspended for accusing the league of such.
Barako Bull Energy center Don Allado was fined P500,000 and suspended for an entire conference after a rant on his Twitter page, following a loss that eliminated his team from post-season contention in the on-going Governors' Cup.
Allado tweeted, "#PBA games are fixed. They [the league] control who is in & who is out. It's a disgrace to be in this league.
"In my opinion, this leaguehas [sic] little credibility left."
Allado later deleted his Tweets and apologized. PBA commissioner Chito Salud also seemingly brushed off the incident, chalking up the comments to "an outburst of emotion in the heat of competition."
But the PBA party-list says that an investigation is still necessary, "in order to bring back the credibility of the PBA [league]," said Sambar.
"Marami po ang nagsasabi sa akin na matagal na ang game-fixing na yan…Kailangan natin patunayan sa lahat ng tao kung totoo ba o hindi ang mga allegations na 'to." he added.
One problem Rep. Sambar saw with what the PBA did was the relative quickness of their investigation into Allado's complaints.
"Ang nakita po namin, everything happened so quickly," Rep. Sambar pointed out. "There's no supporting evidence or supporting documents that said bakit ganun kalaki ang fine kay Allado, kung bakit na-ban siya for one conference.
"Nakita rin po natin na na-suspend ang isang referee in that game who blatantly missed those calls [in particular, a three-second violation on the Powerade import]. Paano naman po ang mga ibang referees present sa game? ...Bakit hindi natin narinig ang side ng iba pang referees na present there?
"Kaya nga po pinapatawag namin 'tong investigation ay para mapakita sa lahat ng tao kung tama ba ang ginawang investigation ng PBA on themselves, kung tama ba ang mga proseso na ginawa nila, kung may due process, para mapakita talaga sa lahat ng tao ang transparency."
PBA commissioner Chito Salud sanctioned Allado a day after the player had sent out his tweets, following a closed-doors meeting with the player. The quick turnaround contributed to the party-list's desire to seek an investigation, with Sambar pointing out, "It's very difficult for us to believe that may ginawa talagang silang thorough investigation."
The PBA party-list plans to call on commissioner Salud, other PBA officials, Allado himself, other referees and players present during that particular game, a 99-95 loss by the Energy to the Powerade Tigers, as well as retired players. - AMD/RSJ, GMA News
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