MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) president Manny Pacquiao filed a formal complaint with the Department of Justice (DOJ) against 21 individuals accused of game-fixing, betting and point-shaving.
MPBL legal counsel Brando Viernesto informed Rappler of this development Tuesday, November 12, as the league managed to get a confirmation from witnesses.
"We have an entity that monitors the games and the stats and they give indications of red flags each game. So we have suspicions already and this was confirmed by a witness that came out," said Viernesto in a text message to Rappler.
Game-fixing is considered a crime under Presidential Decree No. 483 (PD 483), which defines it as "any arrangement, combination, scheme or agreement by which the result of any game, races, or sports contests shall be predicted and/or known other than the basis of the honest playing skill or ability of the players or participants."
PD 483 also criminalizes point-shaving.
In the press conference called by Pacquiao, a certain "Mr. Sung" is allegedly the "mastermind" of the game-fixing ring in the league as he is accused of 17 counts of game-fixing and betting, as well as 2 counts of point-shaving.
The suspect is now being monitored by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
According to Pacquiao, the MPBL players and officials involved receive commissions of P20,000 to P50,000 per game fixed.
While the cases are still under investigation, if the respondents are found guilty, they would be banned from the league according to Viernesto.
The other 20 respondents in the document revealed by Pacquiao include: Kevin Espinosa, Kein, Emma, Serafin Matias, EJ Avila, Niño Dioniso, Ferdinand Melocoton, Nice Ilagan, Sonny Uy, Jake Diwa, Exequiel Biteng, Ricky Morillo, Jerome Juanico, Matthew Bernabe, Julio Magbanua, Abraham Santos, John Patrick Rabe, Ryan Regalado, Janus Lozada and Joshua Alcober. – Rappler.com
More commonly known as Bee, Beatrice Go is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Philippine sports governance, national teams, football, and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.