MANILA, Philippines – Glenn Capacio, former assistant coach of Mahindra (then KIA) during its maiden conference this past PBA season, claims there was no legitimate reason he was laid off last January.
Capacio, 51, shared the termination memo (see below) he received dated January 31, 2015 to a small group of reporters. The memo cites 5 instances where Capacio “committed Gross professional or personal misconduct” which are in violation of the “Independent Contractor Agreement as Assistant Coach with Columbian Autocar Corp. (CAC).”
“Nakalagay diyan ‘Gross misconduct’ wala naman kaming ginawang grave misconduct. Nagnakaw ba ako? Hindi lang ako naka-attend ng meeting,” Capacio bared his frustration 9 months later. (It’s written there ‘Gross miscondunct’ but I have not done any grave misconduct. Did I steal from them? I just was not able to attend a meeting.)
Capacio was fired from the Manny Pacquiao-coached team after the 2015 Philippine Cup and was replaced by current assistant coach Chito Victolero. Mahindra assistant coach Luis Gonzales was also let go.
He claimed he could not clearly define his role and it quickly confused him as team officials kept telling him different things, though Capacio did not specify what exactly those were.
“Yung mga pinangako nila, na assistant coach ka pero parang head coach na ikaw magpapatakbo, so merong naiiba na hindi nasusunod. Parang tatlong grupo, hindi ko alam kanino ako maniniwala,” he explained. “Naguguluhan ako sa kanila kasi iba yung sinasabi ng team manager namin sa sinasabi ni Mr. Santos (team executive), tsaka iba naman yung sinasabi ni Mr. Rosales (team executive).”
(They promised things, like I’m the assistant coach that will act like the head coach but along the way something changed. It’s 3 parties and I don’t know who to believe. I’m confused because the team manager says one thing that’s different from Mr. Santos, and then Mr. Rosales is saying is saying another.)
He began asking questions and sought to speak with head coach Pacquiao and that in itself proved challenging.
Capacio explained items number two and 5 from the memo, which states he was unable to attend meetings on December 11 and December 16, 2014.
“Nagpatawag sila ng meeting through text nung December 11. Sabi ko hindi ako makaka-attend kasi gusto ko muna makausap si boss Manny (Pacquiao), bilang head coach at respeto sa kanya, gusto ko siya kausapin,” he explained. “Kasi naguguluhan ako sa role ko. Kasi gusto ko talaga malaman ano ba talaga ang kalagayan ko dito sa KIA.”
(They called a meeting through text. I told them I couldn’t attend because I want to talk to boss Manny first, as head coach it’s just respect to him, I want to speak with him. I’m confused with my role. I want to know what my place is with KIA.)
‘Wala naman kaming ginawang grave misconduct. Nagnakaw ba ako? Hindi lang ako naka-attend ng meeting.’
As for the meeting on December 16, Capacio said he and Gonzales arrived 30 minutes early for the 10 am schedule, but they backed out upon learning Pacquiao or a KIA executive would not be present.
“Naghintay kami, dumating na siguro 12 o’clock si Joe Ramos. Sabi ko ‘sino ka-meeting natin?’ Sabi silang dalawa lang (ni Eric Pineda). Sabi ko ‘kung kayong dalawa lang hindi ako makikipag-meet sa inyo. Kung meron taga-KIA, makikipag-meeting ako sa inyo.’ So walang nangyari rin noon,” he said, adding he also sought to speak with CAC president Ginia Domingo.
“Naghintay kami sa office kay Ms. Ginia (Domingo). Si Ma’am Ginia hindi ko lang alam bakit hindi kami kinausap.”
(We waited, Joe Ramos arrived around 12 o’clock. I asked who we’re meeting with. They said it’s only him and Eric Pineda. So I said if it’s just them i don’t want to meet anymore. If there is someone from KIA then I’ll push through with it. So nothing happened then. We waited for Ms Ginia at her office. I don’t know why she didn’t speak with us.)
On that same December 16 day, both Capacio and Gonzales were handed memos for the missed meetings.
Gonzales explained the first item on the termination memo about not attending a dinner meeting called by team owner Governor Jose Alvarez on October 31, 2014, saying Capacio and Gonzales were scheduled to scout Globalport’s game that night in preparation for Mahindra’s next match.
Capacio said the last time he received his salary was on January 15, 2015 and he received his termination letter on January 31, which means he was not paid for the latter half of that month.
Both Capacio and Gonzales also claimed they were not paid for the first few months of work as they started for Mahindra in May 2014 but only signed a contract in July.
The former FEU Tamaraws head coach revealed he still had about 19 and a half months on his contract when he was sacked. His contract was supposed to have been until August 2016. That contract was not given to Capacio until January 31, 2015 – together with the termination memo and an organizational chart, he said.
“Nakipag usap sila ang gusto lang nila ibigay sa akin is 3 months. Kung ikaw ba papayag ka? Parang sampal naman sa akin yun (They negotiated and told me they could give me 3 months. Would you agree to that? It’s like a slap on the face),” he rued.
‘Feeling ko, nung time na yun wala naman maniniwala sa akin. Kahit family ko tinatanong ako wala ako maisagot e.’
He initially approached PBA Commissioner Chito Salud for help but said he was told the league only covered players, not coaches.
“Nung lumapit ako nawalan ako ng tiwala, sa PBA nawalan ako ng tiwala,” lamented Capacio, whose pro playing career spanned from 1988 to 2001. “Kasi sino magproproteksyon sa amin? Ako bilang coach?” (When I approached them I lost faith in the PBA. Who will protect us? Me as a coach?)
With that response, Capacio took matters into his own hands by filing a case before the National Labor Relations Commission.
Capacio is not closing his doors on the PBA, however, and admitted he may seek the help of incumbent Commissioner Chito Narvasa. Rappler reached out to Narvasa but he said Capacio has not approached his office and that he cannot comment on the matter “since it is already in a court of law.”
Capacio is not the first to break his silence about the incoming second year PBA team, which drew flak in recent weeks as players Alex Nuyles and Mike Burtscher took to social media to air alleged mishandling and broken promises by the team.
(READ: Nuyles, sports agent explain details of Mahindra contract mess)
Having others step forward, Capacio said, was the reason he finally decided to open up about his situation too.
“Kasi ako feeling ko, nung time na yun wala naman maniniwala sa akin. Kahit family ko tinatanong ako wala ako maisagot e,” he admitted.
“Sabi ko it’s about time na siguro na magsalita ako. Kasi parang kawawa na ako. Parang nasira na yung credibility ko, yung pagkatao ko kasi alam ko meron silang sinasabi tungkol sa amin. Pero pinalampas lang namin yun.”
(I felt nobody would have believed me then. I couldn’t even answer my family when they asked about it. I thought it’s time I spoke up. I feel sorry for myself. My credibility and character are tarnished because I know they talk behind our backs. But we let that go.)
The situation has grown dire that it may have become personal.
The two coaches claim Mahindra team manager Eric Pineda sent a text message to have them removed from the Letran Knights coaching staff where they currently work.
“Nag-text si Mr. Pineda sa manager namin sa Letran, si Ricky Paulino. Si Ricky Paulino naman finorward yung text ni Mr. Pineda kay Fr. (Vic) Calvo. Si Fr. Calvo naman pinakita kay coach Luis and coach Aldin (Ayo) yung text,” Gonzales explained.
“Ano bang nagawa namin? Nagta-trabaho na kami sa iba. Pati ba naman yun papatulan niya pa?”
(Mr. Pineda texted our Letran manager Ricky Paulino. Ricky Paulino forwarded the message to Fr. Vic Calvo, who showed it to Luis and coach Aldin. What did we do? We’re making a living elsewhere. Why do they need to go after that?)
Pacquiao in the dark?
Similar to the situation with Alex Nuyles and his contract, Capacio and Gonzales believe the Filipino boxing icon has been kept in the dark about how their sacking was handled.
“First time na nakausap namin si Manny, ang unang sinabi niya sa amin ‘o anong nangyari sa inyong dalawa?’ Obviously hindi niya alam,” Gonzales shared.
(First time we spoke to Manny the first thing he told us was ‘what happened to you two?’ Obviously he had no idea.)
“Hindi ko lang alam kung bakit hindi namin siya makausap,” Capacio added. “Baka natatakot siguro sila na baka may sabihin kami tungkol sa pagpapatakbo nila, hindi ko alam. Ang naguguluhan lang ako kung bakit ayaw nila kausapin ko si boss Manny.”
(I don’t know why we couldn’t talk to him. Perhaps they’re scared we might tell him about how they run the team, I don’t know. I just didn’t understand why they would not let us talk to Manny.)
Capacio opening up his story further puts pressure on Mahindra for accountability. They already worked things out with Nuyles after he went public with his plight as the team will now honor the one-year contract he signed.
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