Narvasa stays put as PBA commish
The controversy hounding the PBA Commissioner’s Office is far from over.
Enjoying full backing of the San Miguel Corporation teams and two other squads, Chito Narvasa will stay on at his post despite a group reportedly replacing the commissioner early on Thursday and appointing an officer-in-charge to run the league.
Former two-time chairman Robert Non, who represents San Miguel Beer in the board, issued a statement backing Narvasa, saying that the bloc that ousted Narvasa acted in a way that was “not in accordance with our bylaws and constitution.”
Added Non: “San Miguel, Ginebra, Star, Kia and GlobalPort stand behind commissioner Narvasa. He enjoys our full support and (we) have prevailed upon him to stay and do what is right.”
Narvasa later told media people in a press conference that he planned to stay on despite a move by seven teams earlier in the day to make him step down.
“Of course, I can resign but only if majority of the league membership say so. We have rules in the PBA and we should not be held hostage to the whims and caprices of a few who just called for my removal because they cannot get what they want,” Narvasa said.
San Miguel Corp. owns three teams in the PBA: San Miguel Beer, Barangay Ginebra and Star and representatives of those squads together with those of GlobalPort and Kia did not attend the meeting which Non called “unauthorized.”
Representatives of the seven other teams met at the league’s offices in Libis on Thursday morning and appointed Rickie Santos, the league’s long-time manager of basketball operations and current deputy commissioner, as OIC, according to a statement released by the league’s media arm.
Led by incoming chair Ramoncito Fernandez of NLEX, the seven-team group decided not to give Narvasa a fresh mandate as commissioner.
The other teams that backed NLEX are Blackwater, Phoenix Petroleum, Alaska, Rain or Shine, TNT KaTropa and Meralco.
Non, however, pointed out that the group does not have the numbers to unseat Narvasa—he cited a league rule that requires a two-thirds vote for that to happen. A two-thirds vote is also required to name a new commissioner or give him a fresh term.
Non also pointed out that Fernandez misrepresented himself as chair of the group, “when in fact, the sitting chairman is still GlobalPort’s Mikee Romero,” Non said.
Fernandez said in the PBA statement that the group did not expel Narvasa, because it is aware it doesn’t have the numbers required by the league laws.
The NLEX governor said that he and the other officials merely talked to Narvasa and informed him of their decision and that he would study his options.
Non also deplored a meeting that happened on Monday, where Fernandez supposedly arranged to meet with Narvasa only for him to show up with Alaska’s Dickie Bachmann, Blackwater’s Dioceldo Sy and Phoenix’s Raymund Zorilla.
“If we allow this to happen, then this will weaken the Commissioner’s Office and turn it into a puppet of whoever is the most powerful among the team owners,” Non added in the statement. “They cannot just act on a whim.”
Fernandez, in the PBA statement, did not give specific reasons for their decision to ask Narvasa to step down. But the commissioner made references to his approval of the Kia-San Miguel Beer trade for the No. 1 pick and his current investigation into a partnership forged by current league broadcaster TV5 and a foreign betting company.
“I have always ensured parity in all decisions I made as commissioner, not only in the trade involving Kia and San Miguel Beer, but even when Talk ‘N Text acquired the first round picks of Kia and Blackwater in the past to get Mo Tautuua and Troy Rosario,” said Narvasa, who explained the other possible reason for his current problems.
“TV5 made the transaction with the betting company without informing the PBA and denied the league the revenues from the said transaction,” he said.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.