Jinggoy Estrada reveals list of 'banned' MPBL players for game fixing

Marcy Arellano is among the known key players who are in the MPBL's list of personnel allegedly involved in game-fixing activities. PSL (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—Senator Jinggoy Estrada dropped a bombshell on Wednesday when he named the players the MPBL recently banned for alleged game-fixing schemes.

During a hearing called by the Senate committees on sports and games and amusement regarding a proposed Anti-Game Fixing Act, Estrada, also the team owner of the San Juan Knights franchise playing in the MPBL and the PSL, said that "the public ought to know" the players who were caught doing the said schemes following a trend of paltry performances last year.

Among notable names listed in the list are Bacolod's Harold Arboleda, Ryusei Koga, and Puroy Cantimbuhan, Bicol's Brian Ilad and RJ Deles, Bulacan's Levi Dela Cruz, Jeric Nacpil, and Rence Alcoriza, Manila's Marcy Arellano, Macky Acosta, and Allan Mangahas, and Laguna's Ken Acibar and Paolo Pontejos.

Head coaches Monel Kallos and Tylon Darjuan of Bacolod and Manila, respectively, are also part of the list.

The MPBL said on Tuesday that a total of 47 players and officials have been barred from joining the league again due to game-fixing.

While no San Juan player is on the list, Estrada vowed that he would remove any Knight who will be caught in game-fixing acts.

Estrada first asked for consent from MPBL executive officer Joe Ramos before revealing the list.

Ramos confirmed that the players and team officials on the list are "indefinitely banned" from playing in the MPBL, whose new season begins on March 16.

Estrada is one of five senators in the ongoing 19th Congress who filed separate bills addressing game fixing in professional sports, the others being Lito Lapid, Bong Revilla, Raffy Tulfo, and Mark Villar.

The House of Representatives approved its version of the Anti-Game Fixing Act at the plenary level on Nov. 28, 2022, paving the way for the said senators to progress on their own versions of the said bill.

In the Congress version, a PHP50 million fine and life imprisonment await those who are caught to be masterminds of game-fixing acts.

MPBL founder Manny Pacquiao also proposed an Anti-Game Fixing Bill during the 18th Congress when he was still a senator.

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