The Philippine baseball team, who is the 2011 Southeast Asian Games champion, is accusing the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) of mistreating them by withholding the team’s allowances and padlocking their quarters at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.
Baseball will not be played in the Myanmar SEA Games this December, denying the Filipinos the chance to defend their crown.
Jonash Rances Fulgencio Jr., a 10-year veteran of the team, said they want the help of Sen. Pia Cayetano in airing their grievances against the PSC, specifically Commissioner Jolly Gomez.
“The PSC has not given our monthly allowances since January this year and now they are trying to remove us from our quarters,” Fulgencio told The Manila Times in a phone interview on Thursday. “We’re planning to go to the Senate to air our side. We don’t deserve this kind of treatment.”
Fulgencio, an outfielder, said security guards of the PSC padlocked their quarters and the players had to destroy the lock to retrieve their things. Most baseball players come from different provinces and they train everyday at the baseball stadium.
He said the Philippine Amateur Baseball Association, the national sport association, is doing its best to talk with PSC officials headed by Chairman Richie Garcia but the response remains negative.
“We are doing our best to represent the country in different competitions abroad but the PSC doesn’t appreciate it. We won the gold in the last SEA Games but our monthly allowances were stopped without any valid reason. Now, they also took away our quarters,” he added.
National players are entitled from P15, 000 to P25, 000 in monthly allowances from the PSC.
Fulgencio said Gomez questioned the players’ moonlighting.
“We are coaching baseball at different schools or clubs and PSC Commissioner Gomez is against it. We don’t understand why he doesn’t like it since the PSC is not providing us our monthly allowances since January. We have families to feed,” he said
Garcia said the PSC has been ordered by the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) to evict the baseball players from their quarters because their association is not recognized by the committee.
“We will welcome the Senate inquiry anytime,” Garcia said. “The POC doesn’t recognize the leadership of PABA since they have had no election since 2000. At the same time, the POC ordered the removal of their allowances and their quarter.”
JOSEF T. RAMOS