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Chooks owner Mascariñas questions VisMin Cup Mindanao leg suspension

Chooks-to-Go president Ronald Mascarinas hopes GAB will retract from suspending the VisMin Super Cup Mindanao leg. Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--While he commended the Games and Amusements Board for "acting strongly and swiftly" on the game fixing allegations in the Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup clash between Lapu-Lapu and Siquijor, Chooks-to-Go president Ronald Mascarinas could not help but ask the said agency why the Mindanao leg has to be suspended as well.

"Its decision to suspend the entire Mindanao leg pending 'further observation of the ongoing games in Visayas,' as reported by the media, is not just simply going overboard; it is going berserk," Mascarinas said on Monday.

The day before, GAB announced that the Mindanao leg supposedly beginning on May 20 will be put on hold while they placed the VisMin Cup under reevaluation.

[Related Story: GAB puts VisMin 'for reevaluation', Mindanao leg postponed]

Mascarinas thinks one cannot simply assume that either of the nine participating teams in the Mindanao leg, namely Basilan, Cagayan De Oro, Zamboanga, Pagadian, Roxas, Sindangan, Tawi-Tawi, Valencia, and Ozamis, would do the same things Lapu-Lapu and Siquijor did in their controversial game last week.

"The only way to justify such better-safe-than-sorry preemptive action is to suspect the entire Mindanao leg of serious copycat tendencies, or worst, possible agreement to commit the same April 14 infamy. In law and ordinary logic, the only way to attribute an act of one as an act of all is to prove conspiracy – a meeting of the minds to commit a wrong. GAB did not even bother to offer any ground acceptable to a reasonable mind exercising ordinary judgment as remotely sufficient to justify its action," he further said. "It beggars belief that GAB could be acting, in this case, out of an abundance of caution, because the Visayas leg, where the shocking parody of professionalism in basketball was played, was not even suspended at all. It was allowed to go on, ostensibly, under 'further observation.'"

Mascarinas then asked, "If wrongful acts committed in a single match in Cebu, and not by any means attributable to all the teams playing in the Visayas leg, did not stop the games there, by what contorted stretch of logic or the imagination did it justify the wholesale suspension of the games in Mindanao?"

He then believes that GAB introduced "a novel double presumption" with the suspension of the Mindanao leg.

"It is as if the time-honored presumption of innocence, and the basic elements of due process, and finding probable cause, or basic logic, are mere logical, legal, or ethical niceties it can fully dispense with, anytime," Mascarinas added.

He also thinks the postponement could lead to more suspicious moments once the leg finally pushes through.

"Worst, and even more profound, by suspending the Mindanao leg wholly, it allows the right to be held hostage by wrong, the many who are innocent, to be hijacked by the few," Mascarinas said.

He then concluded, "This cannot be served by curing a wrong with another wrong, especially when it is a bigger wrong. Let us hope GAB reconsiders its decision."

Chooks-to-Go is the main sponsor of the league's inaugural season.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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