‘The Magician’ considers filing charges vs fake news purveyors

Published January 17, 2021, 3:49 PM

by Waylon Galvez

efren bata reyes
Efren ‘Bata’ Reyes of Philippines takes his turn against Vietnam’s Ngo Dinh Nai in men’s carom (1-cushion) semifinal at the Tent City of Manila Hotel in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games last December. (MB File Photo / Ali Vicoy)

Efren “Bata” Reyes and his family are considering filing legal charges against persons responsible for spreading “fake news” last Saturday about the death of the Filipino pool legend.

Chelo Reyes, one of three children of the pool player known with his moniker as “The Magician”, said that they are thinking about that possibility although nothing is final at the moment.

“Oo naman po naisip pa din po talaga kasuhan,” the young Reyes said in a message to Manila Bulletin Sunday.

The spread of the said “fake news” by individuals or groups falls under the cybercrime law but she said they still have no idea who did it and the purpose behind it.

News of the supposed death of Reyes spread like wildfire after it was posted online by a still unidentified individual. It reached the pool icon and his reaction was a classic Reyes – funny.

Read: Efren ‘Bata’ Reyes is alive and well

“Okay lang ako,” said Reyes, as he was all smiles and in his cheerful personality on the video post while watching the NBA game between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Dallas Mavericks.

Chelo Reyes added that his father was even joking about it, saying: “Mas nauna pa daw nakaalam ang Facebook kesa sa kanya at sa amin tungkol sa balita na yun (of his death).”

While the 66-year-old world champion had a good laugh about the “fake news” of his death, his family took the matter seriously.

“Nung nasabi ko sa kanya yun, I’m not sure po kung first time niya narinig yung about sa fake news. May mga tumatawag na kasi prior to confirm.”

While the world champion took in a funny way, Chelo Reyes said family members had a different view on such news – particularly if it’s “fake” – since it isn’t a good one to hear or read.

“Nainis po at nagulat po talaga, though alam naman namin kung ano ang totoo,” she said.

“Sa nag post or kung sino man may gawa nun, karma na lang siguro at ipagpa-sa Diyos na lang siya/sila. Kaya nag-post na lang din po ako to confirm na OK talaga siya,” she added.

Reyes is a beloved athlete not just on local shore but also internationals.

He has won numerous local and international tournaments – the biggest of which were the eight-ball (2004) and nine-ball (1999) world titles. He also starred in the movie Pakners with the late Fernando Poe Jr.

Reyes also represented the country as a member of the national team, winning a bronze medal in the 2002 Busan Asian Games.