LOCAL PLAYERS TO FILE CASE AGAINST ASI, ET AL

Manila, August 9, 2003 (STAR) By Nelson Beltran  - Local pro players are keen on pursuing the case against the five alleged Fil-foreign players found to have fraudulent papers, maintaining they would see the case to its logical end and see the "Fil-shams" deported from the country.

"Definitely, magpa-file kami ng kaso. Yun talaga ang puntirya namin from the very beginning," said Jojo Lastimosa, who is the acknowledged leader of the homegrown cagers.

Lastimosa said they will discuss with their legal counsel, Jun Salantandre, legal actions to take in filing the necessary charges following the Senate recommendation for the summary deportation of Asi Taulava, Jon Ordonio, Andy Seigle, Rudy Hatfield and Davonn Harp.

"It could be a long or short process. But whatever, tutukan namin ito hanggang matapos," said Lastimosa.

Sen. Robert Barbers, chairman of the Senate committee on games, amusement and sports which undertook the thorough investigation that unearthed the anomalies, also promised to closely monitor the summary deportation procedures.

Lastimosaís group has yet to decide on who would file the case but Lastimosa said heís willing to be one of those who would take the cudgels for the local players. "Hindi naman kailangan lahat kami. Itís also not necessary na kami ni Alvin (Patrimonio). Pero pwedeng isa ako," said Lastimosa.

The Bureau of Immigration canít deport the "Fil-shams" without the court revoking the Philippine citizenship granted the players.

Barbers himself said "due process should be observed."

The senator from Surigao said the result of the nine-month inquiry which led to 12-page report is "a victory for the homegrown players because we only acted on their request for an investigation."

The investigation started in November last year with the homegrown players airing their complaints against the Fil-foreign players and alleging some of them didnít have Filipino roots.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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