The Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) filed charges against 21 people allegedly for game fixing involving the Soccksargen Marlins, who has yet to win a game in the ongoing Lakan Cup.
Agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) accompanied MPBL Commissioner Kenneth Duremdes when he filed cases at the Department of Justice on Tuesday, Nov. 12, for alleged violation of Presidential Decree 483, as amended by PD 1602, which penalizes betting, game-fixing, and points shaving in sports competitions.
Respondents to the charges include Marlins’ team owner Kevin Espinosa, players Jake Diwa, Exequiel Biteng, Ricky Murillo, Jerome Juanico, Matthew Bernabe, Julio Magbanua, Abraham Santos, John Patrick Rabe, and Ryan Regalado.
Also named in the complaint are three Chinese nationals identified only as ‘Mr Sung’, ‘Kein’, and ‘Emma’.
The league also filed charges against Serafin Matias, EJ Avila, Nino Dionisio, Nice Ilagan, and Janus Lozada of company Armor On Philippines, which sponsors the Marlins.
Also accused were Ferdinand Melocoton and Joshua Alcober.
“Panalo na, malaki na yung lamang ng kalaban, and yet they keep on fouling, they get techincals sa mga (referees) so sila mismo yung nag-pupush. Very doubtful yung mga actions na iyon,” Duremdes explained during a press briefing.
Sen. Manny Pacquiao, who founded MPBL, also stressed that the league does not tolerate game-fixing and other fraudulent activities.
“Kung ginagawa niyo iyan sa ibang liga, huwag dito sa MPBL,” Pacquio said.
Earlier, the MPBL suspended the Soccksargen team due to allegations of ‘game fixing and other related schemes’.
Duremdes also issued a memorandum informing teams that the league is conducting an investigation parallel to the probe of the NBI regarding the involvement of management personnel, coaching staff, and players on game fixing and other related schemes.