MANILA, February 18, 2005 
(STAR) By Aurea Calica  -  The Department of Justice will subpoena Asi Taulava, his mother Pauline Mateaki and several others for a preliminary investigation on the cases of the Talk N Text center and the people who helped him join the premier league despite being a foreigner.

Philippine Basketball Association commissioner Noli Eala will also be invited not as a co-respondent of Taulava but only to get his inputs on the issue.

In Department Order No. 74, Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez formed a panel composed of state prosecutors Edwin Dayog, Paulino Gallegos and Lourdes Zapanta to conduct the preliminary investigation on complaints of falsification of public documents, perjury and infidelity in the custody of documents filed by the National Bureau of Investigation against Taulava and several others.

Aside from Taulava, his mother and Eala, the others to be subpoenaed are a certain Sergio Midoranda Jr., Lydia Hatton Medici, Rolando Bersamin, Jonas Karl Perez, Yuri del Valle Sr., and a certain alias Boy Daza.

The panel was given 10 days to start the investigation.

If the evidence warrants, Gonzalez said the panel would file the appropriate information in court and to prosecute them.

The NBI said Bersamin claimed he was a playmate of Taulava’s mother in northern Samar. But Gonzalez said there were no documents showing Taulava’s mother was born in northern Samar and grew up there.

Medici, for her part, said Ana Hernandez, the alleged Filipina grandmother of Taulava, was employed by her family as house help sometime in 1947-1949.

Perez was the one who assisted in the preparation of the affidavits of witnesses to explain the "unusual physique" of Taulava’s mother.

Del Valle was the municipal registrar of San Jose, Samar who admitted allowing the late registration of the birth certificate despite anomalous circumstances, the NBI said.

The NBI added that del Valle himself testified under oath during a Senate committee hearing that the affidavits of two disinterested persons which were allegedly submitted in support of the questioned registration could no longer be found since Midoranda borrowed it and failed to return it to him.

Daza was allegedly the "influential backer" of Taulava and who helped in his and his mother’s registration as Filipino nationals.

The DOJ said it would also file a motion before the Court of Appeals seeking for oral arguments on the case of Taulava so the US Embassy certificate stating that he was not Filipino could be presented.

Gonzalez said the certificate revealed that Taulava’s mother was a Tongan and got no Filipino lineage. He noted this could convince the CA to order the lifting of the permanent injunction issued by a Manila regional trial court against the DOJ and the Bureau of Immigration on the deportation of Taulava.

He said the Office of the Solicitor General was tasked to work on the lifting of the injunction.

Gonzalez said based on the document from the US Embassy, Taulava was American citizen as his mother was born in Tonga of Tongan parents.

The certification that Taulava and his mother were permanent residents of the US was issued by acting immigration attaché of the US Embassy in Manila, Julian Briola on May 24, 2004.

Taulava’s mother was born on July 13, 1946 in Vaotu’u, Tongatapu, Tonga and daughter of Tonga spouses Semisi Mateaki (father) and Maveti Mokofosi (mother). A copy of Mateaki’s birth registration was also given to the National Bureau of Investigation.

The NBI, Gonzalez said, also stated in its report that verification from the National Statistics Office as well as the municipal registrar of Bobon, Samar where San Jose was formerly a barangay, revealed that there were no records of birth of Hernandez and her subsequent marriage to Felipe Mateaki, the supposed parents of Taulava’s mother.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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