As of now, Chito Narvasa is still the commissioner of the PBA.
The beleaguered executive said that he will fight for his post amid calls for his ouster from seven members of the Board of Governors.
“I hope people will understand the principle behind it. I’m fighting for the office of the Commissioner because nobody, no matter how powerful they are, should be able to frighten it, scare it, or threaten it,” he said in an emergency press conference Thursday at PBA Office in Libis.
Governors from seven teams, namely TNT, NLEX, Meralco, Alaska, Rain or Shine, Phoenix, and Blackwater, held a special board meeting earlier in the day and agreed to no longer renew the term of Narvasa, saying they have already lost confidence on his leadership over his controversial decisions during his two-year tenure, with the last straw being the approval of the controversial San Miguel-Kia trade involving top overall selection Christian Standhardinger.
Meanwhile, Narvasa has the support of five teams — San Miguel, Ginebra, Star, GlobalPort, and Kia, with all five conjuring a statement saying that the move to take him out of his commissionership is unlawful based on PBA by-laws.
Standing his ground, the 55-year-old executive said that he has no qualms relinquishing his post but argued that grounds for his expulsion must be done the right way.
“I’m willing to resign. There’s no problem with that. But what I’m saying is that procedures have to be followed and the reasons have to be clear. They have to know what the loss of confidence is constituted, and what the procedure is. It could have been discussed within the Board. Why did they have to go through all of this exercise and cause public shame?” he said.
“What is it that we’re fighting for? Why am I still here? It’s a matter of principle. I’ve always been a stickler for rules, and all we’re asking is we want to find out if were the proper issues followed? If they were, then they will also have no problem in not renewing or voting to end my term. They say that you serve at the pleasure of the board, and the only time we can take you out is if we have two-thirds of the vote. They say that I only have one year in my term. They should have done it in the proper forum, which is inside the boardroom. As long as they follow the procedures and the rules, we’re ok. We’re not fighting against them. We’re fighting for the principle that the rule has to be followed.”
Narvasa then urged the Board to convene as one unit and come up with a solid decision with regard to his post, saying that he only wants the league rules to be observed.
“Let’s be a league of rules, not of men,” he said. “If it’s for principle, then I must stay. I hope that the Board will be able to determine really what is the right procedure. They should come up with the right decision.”
The embattled executive is also hoping to find a compromise before the 43rd season of the PBA opens on December 17.
“I will not abandon the PBA. We have a long, long time before the opening, so we will see how everything will work out. I’m hoping and praying that you will understand. I’m willing to sacrifice for the PBA as long as all these things are in place,” he said.