PROBE OF ILLEGAL JAI-ALAI SOUGHT  

Manila, March 13, 2003 -- Philippine Racing Commission chief Jaime Dilag yesterday said he will ask authorities to investigate the Pelota de Manila Tournament, a jai-alai game being telecast on television which he said is "illegal."

Dilag, who took over as Philracom chief from Andrew Sanchez, said illegal betting on the PDMT tournament is robbing legal games of chance, like horseracing, additional revenues.

He said the racing industry, which earned a phenomenal P6.79 billion in gross sales last year, could have earned a lot more but for the "illegal" telecast of the PDMT tournament on TV.

A former pelotari and jai-alai official under Pagcor chairman Efraim Genuino, Dilag said: "It's really disappointing to see illegal games being televised. This robs the government of more revenues."

PDMT games are shown live from 12 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. daily from Monday to Saturday over SBN 21 and two other cable networks.

* Philippine Olympic Committee secretary general Romeo Ribano and Philippine Sports Commission chief Eric Buhain recently debunked the claims of the PDMT that it has the official sanction of the two agencies for its tournament. PDMT has claimed its tournament is geared for the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece, and the 2006 World Basque Pelota tilt in Europe.

Former pelotari Justo Antonio Oyarzabal has also debunked PDMT's claim, saying he has the sole authority to train, screen and send players to the world tilt.

Sponsored on TV by New Chin Hao restaurant, the PDMT is allegedly being managed by entities connected to former pelotari Pablo Lorenzo

 


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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