By Jeffrey Damicog
The management and players of the SOCCKSARGEN Marlins basketball team on Friday, January 17, responded to the allegations of that they were engaged in game-fixing during official games at the Maharllika Pilipinas Basketball Association (MPBL).
In a hearing held at the Department of Justice (DOJ), 17 respondents filed their respective counter-affidavits before Assistant State Prosecutor Kristhine Salumbides to refute the allegations in the complaint filed by MPBL Commissioner Kenneth Duremdes.
Salumbides has been conducting the preliminary investigation of the complaint since December 18.
In the complaint, the respondents were accused of multiple counts of betting, game-fixing, and points shaving in violation of Sections 1 and 3 of Presidential Decree (PD) 483 as amended by PD 1602.
The case concerns 18 games that the SOCCKSARGEN Marlins participated in from July to October and where the game-fixing allegedly took place.
Those who have been named as respondents were SOCCKSARGEN Marlins team manager Kevin Espinosa, coach Fedinand Melocoton, and basketball players Jake Diwa, Exequiel Biteng, Jerome Juanico, Matthew Bernabe, Julio Magbanua, Abraham Santos, John Patrick Rabe, Ryan Regalado, Janus Lozada, Ricky Morillo, and Joshua Alcober
Also named as respondents were Quezon City Capitals team manager Nino Dionisio, Serafin Matias, Nice Ilagan, and EJ Avila.
There were also four persons who were named as respondents in the complaint, but failed to file counter-affidavits and has never appeared before Salumbides.
They were a certain Sonny Uy and three Chinese nationals who were only known as Mr. Sung, Kein, and Emma.
Because of this, Salumbides has asked the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) which conducted the investigation to get the addresses of the three respondents so that subpoenas will be issued against them to compel them to appear and submit counter-affidavits.
In the meantime, Salumbides has yet to set the next hearing pending the action to be taken by the NBI.