69 Sikelianou Street,
Ilioupolis, 163 45 Athens, Greece
Tel # (30-210) 723 87 77 – B ; 973 50 14 - P
Fax # (30-210) 685 65 71 – B; 722 59 75 - P
Dear Mr. Vassilakopoulos,
Greetings to you and your family in Peace!
I write to inform you of the recent developments in the national federation of the Philippines. I thought you might want to know how the FIBA and FIBA Asia have been handling the BAP-SBP leadership problem in our country.
The first time I personally met you came during the FIBA World Congress in Japan in August 2006. I was happy to have a new friend from the Europe continent
In fact, I have been hearing your name from former FIBA President Dr. Carl Ching and Dato’ Yeoh Choo Hock of Malaysia.
For your references, I have attached copies of my correspondences to Mr. Patrick Baumann, FIBA Secretary General, which I hope will enlighten you on the problems of the Basketball Association of the Philippines.
The BAP, a member of FIBA since 1936, was forced to merge with a non-entity known as the SBP because of the pressure exerted by Mr. Baumann to come up with a so called conformity known as the Bangkok Agreement that was signed in Thailand on February 4, 2007 (attached is a document for your reference – “ANNEX A”).
Since the Bangkok Agreement was struck, the BAP has been reduced to a minority role even though the agreement, which provided a transitory period of one year before the first elections were to be held, specifically mentioned a majority of 87 BAP members approved by the FIBA.
Moreover, the undersigned was dismissed as a member of the FIBA Youth Commission without any due process. Mr. Baumann and the bogus SBP faction conspired to remove me from my position in time for the SBP to control our national basketball federation though an illegal election on June 12, 2008.
In truth and in fact, it was the BAP-SBP election held on June 4, 2008 that was legitimate as it was attended by an overwhelming majority of the members/stakeholders approved in the Bangkok Agreement.
However, without any investigation, Mr. Baumann instead recognized the June 12, 2008 election that did not even have the required quorum (attached for your reference – “ANNEX B”).
On May 23, 2009, the FIBA Central Board will meet in Geneva, Switzerland. Former FIBA president Dr. Carl Ching advised me to communicate with you for a better appreciation of our case because you are a reasonable person.
I have already met officials of the FIBA Asia Executive Committee meeting during a trip to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on January 19, 2009 where Dato’ Yeoh Choo Hock encouraged me to continue with my crusade for what is right, just and fair. That same day, during a one-on-one talk with Mr. Baumann that was arranged by Dato’ Yeoh, I told him that he should respect and honor the Bangkok Agreement.
For your information, Dato’ Yeoh Choo Hock, Mr. Hagop Khajirian and legal counsel Mr. Gayrika Perusinghe of FIBA Asia privately informed me in Kuala Lumpur that the Bangkok Agreement was not followed and respected by Mr. Baumann.
I sought Mr. Baumann’s comment on the matter but got no answer.
For the record, Mr. Baumann (representing the FIBA) and officials of FIBA Asia were among the signatories of the Bangkok Agreement and therefore are bound to respect the agreement.
However, officials of FIBA Asia told me that they themselves could not do anything if the FIBA does not make a move.
That is why I am campaigning for the resignation of Mr. Baumann to save the FIBA from losing its credibility and integrity. Mr. Baumann continues to support the SBP faction whose leader was designated to act as a mediator between two parties but instead ended up as its leader who uses his money to take control of our national federation.
This is totally unacceptable. It is a clear violation of the Olympic Solidarity that frowns on people out to take a leadership role in sports for their own interests.
May I have the honor of seeking an appointment with you to explain this crusade of mine.
I have fought those who wanted to destroy our national federation in the Philippines.
I was the subject of harassment from political figures who sought my deportation as well. My house was once ransacked, and kidnap threats were issued against my family and I.
I was thrown into jail for three weeks to pressure me to recognize the new federation known as the Philippine Basketball Federation Inc (PBFI) created by the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) to replace the BAP. In his August 30, 2005 letter (attached copy for your reference – “ANNEX C”) to the POC, Mr. Baumann denied recognition of the PBFI.
I was detained illegally for three weeks before a favorable ruling from the Court of Appeal set me free. That I was born in the Philippines of Chinese parents was an issue taken against me in my deportation case. But where shall I go, so with my Filipina wife and two kids?
The Philippine justice system is wrought with corruption (attached copy of U.S. report on our justice system – “ANNEX D”).
I have agreed to a verbal ceasefire with Mr. Baumann. He promised to look at our case and revisit the Bangkok Agreement. But I still have doubts to Mr. Baumann’s sincerity notwithstanding a compromise initiated by Dr. Borislav Stankovic through Dato’ Yeoh Choo Hock on January 19, 2009 in Kuala Lumpur to reinstate me to the FIBA Youth Commission.
Though of no importance to me, I was advised by Dato’ Yeoh to accept my reappointment but to continue to fight for the recognition the June 4, 2008 BAP-SBP election and the duly-elected officers such as Honorable Congressman Luis Villafuerte and Mr. Prospero Pichay, BAP-SBP Chairman and President, respectively (attached copy informing the FIBA secretariat – “ANNEX E”).
Next month (April), may I invite you to visit Hong Kong or China for a personal meeting? I hope to discuss with you our case and seek your assistance during the FIBA Central Meeting in Geneva on May 23, 2009.
Maybe we can ask Honorable Philanthropist Dr. Carl Ching to join us in the proposed meeting. Dr. Ching mobile phone is +852-9493 0018 or office at +852-2519 3386.
Please help us find justice for the BAP, an original FIBA member since 1936.
GRAHAM C. LIM
Basketball Association of the Philippines (BAP)
Mobile phone # +63-917 8419812
Tel-Fax # +632-524 2522