Embattled PBA commissioner Chito Narvasa has heard enough and said that despite all the controversies hurled his way, parity has always been his priority since he assumed his post.
Narvasa said that he always tried to give everyone a fair shake, citing his approval of TNT’s trades to secure the top selections in the 2015 PBA Draft.
“What call for parity are they talking about? 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 TNT acquired the first round picks of Kia and Blackwater in the past to get Mo Tautuaa and Troy Rosario,” he said on a statement in Thursday.
The KaTropa first got Blackwater’s first rounder, which turned out to be Tautuaa, in exchange for Larry Rodriguez and the former’s 2015 first rounder a year prior, before dealing with then-Mahindra for the second overall pick Rosario for Aldrech Ramos, Nino Cañaleta, and Rob Reyes.
TNT has been vocal of its displeasure of Narvasa following his approval of the San Miguel-Kia trade, which sent 2017 top overall selection Christian Standhardinger to the Beermen.
The KaTropa management also hit Narvasa for allegedly dragging them into the issue after the league executive bared that assistant team manager Magnum Membrere also submitted the Fil-German’s application papers, a duty Membrere did in “as a representative of Smart Gilas.”
“Why did he have to use us to justify his decision?” the team’s statement said.
Narvasa defended himself regarding the issue, saying that he “did not have any bad intentions” when he shared the information to the media.
“I received the trade from (TNT governor) Rickie Vargas and (alternate governor) Pato Gregorio. They found my statement mentioning that it was uncalled for. I told them, when I said that, I was just telling the story. I did not mean to discredit you or disrespect them, but they found it very offensive,” he said.
The league’s ninth commissioner said that if governors had an issue with his decision, they should have made an appeal in the weekly board meetings as predicated in the PBA by-laws, a move which is in contrast to the Board’s agreement days prior expressing their “all-out support” for his decision.
“In any trade, there is a recourse. If the commissioner has made a grave mistake, anyone from the Board of Governors can appeal the decision of the commish as long as it wins by a vote of two-thirds. They can review, they can reverse, and/or modify the decision of the commissioner. It’s in the by-laws and constitution. It’s specifically written there,” he said
“Therefore, let’s say I made a grave mistake in this trade, they have the recourse among themselves in a special meeting to hold the trade. They have 10 days to make the complaint, so that means the trade is on hold and it’s not approved. Even if the commissioner approved it already, if there is an appeal to the chairman, they can review, they can modify, or reverse my decision, which they did not adopt.”
Narvasa shared that he is saddened by the recent turn of events which cast the league in a bad light.
“I feel bad more for the PBA. I was already involved in the private sector and I was happy there. But I was willing when they asked me to do the sacrifice in trying to balance their interests,” he said. “Now, they wanted to get me out of the way and I don’t know where that’s coming from, but that’s the situation.”
The executive then stressed the necessity for the Board to convene and mend these issues quickly to maintain the credibility the Office of the Commissioner holds going forward.
“I hope the Board of Directors talk among themselves already. I want it to be clarified for future commissioners. I know I’m here temporarily. There will be another commissioner here. Everybody wants to make sure that he has to remain independent. He cannot be influenced by any team. He cannot be frightened,” he said.
Narvasa remains defiant: I’m fighting for principle