IMMIGRATION BUREAU FAULTED FOR FAKE FIL-AM CAGERS

Manila, April 1, 2003 -- Sen. Robert Barbers yesterday said government 
officials will face the consequences for their apparent laxity and 
negligence in implementing rules covering the grant of Filipino citizenship 
recognition that led to the entry of numerous supposed bogus Fil-foreign 
players.

"Heads will definitely roll," the senator told reporters, adding the ax 
will most likely fall on officials of the Bureau of Immigration (BI), which 
is tasked to screen the citizenship claims of all persons coming in and out 
of the country.

"These BI people who gave recognition to them (Fil-foreigners) could be 
possibly slapped with administrative and criminal cases," he said.

The senator implied that other than the four Philippine Basketball 
Association (PBA) players he earlier recommended for deportation more 
players are to be singled out.

In a hearing last week, Alaska's Jonathan William Ordonio, Talk 'n Text's 
Paul Asi Taulava Jr., Ginebra's Eric Conrad Padua Menk and Coca-Cola's 
Rudolf Conse Hatfield, supposedly have no proofs to show that they have 
FIlipino roots.

At least 13 others are supposedly expected to follow suit while background 
investigation on them is still ongoing.

"They better brace themselves (for a tough legal battle)...we have strong 
evidence against these players," he said. "We don't know how they will 
rebut these (supposed) evidence against them. But for the meantime, they 
could continue playing in the PBA."

Barbers' committee on games, amusement and sports is probing the influx of 
supposed undocumented Fil-Am players, is readying its findings and 
recommendations even as it is still set to conduct final public hearing on 
the matter. (By Angie M. Rosales, Tribune)

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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