July 9, 2008
Mr. Patrick Baumann
Federacion Internationale de Basketball
Dear Mr. Baumann:
I hope that this letter reaches you in the best of health.
As former President of the Basketball Association of the Philippines (BAP) and
being instrumental in the BAP decision to conform to the merger proposed by a
group including yourself, FIBA Asia President Sheikh Saud Bin Ali Al-Thani,
FIBA Asia Secretary General Dato Yeoh Choo Hock, I would like to raise some
disturbing issues that continue to hound the sport in our country.
In keeping with the provisions of that agreement in Bangkok, several members of
the Board of Trustees of the merged BAP-Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas
(BAP-SBP) initiated the holding of a regular election as the previous set of
officers held their positions on an interim capacity for a period of one year.
Having complied with the provision for a regular election last June 4, 2008,
the new set of officers reported this to FIBA and FIBA Asia.
What is disturbing is FIBA has shown no indication of recognition for the
legitimate act of the BAP-SBP officers numbering 65 of the total 87 (seven of
which are common to both BAP-SBP) who elected Honorable Prospero A. Pichay and
Rep. Luis R. Villafuerte as new President and Chairman.
All the while, we basketball-loving sportsmen of this country thought that
compliance was the operative word in obtaining FIBA recognition. The delay in
FIBA’s action to recognize that June 4, 2008 election results, invites us to
suspect irregularities as that Bangkok Agreement was designed by no less than
yourself and FIBA Asia officials.
Are we to think that you yourself are not convinced with the provisions of the
Bangkok Agreement that any sincere attempt to follow it to the letter can only
mean frustration on the part of our local basketball leaders?
What makes matters worse is that FIBA had allowed the group of Mr. Manuel
Pangilinan, the ousted president of the interim merger, to conduct its own version,
or better yet a mockery, of the election process on June 12, 2008 with a handful
of his loyalists or balance of the 87 because the 65 opted to participate in the legit
session on June 4.
Worse still, Pangilinan appointed as his executive director the disbarred Noli
Eala who you had a gentlemen agreement in Bangkok as not being qualified to
hold any position in the merger for glaring conflict of interest.
This, I feel, is an inarguable show of bias on the part of FIBA and blatant
disregard of an agreement, provisions of which are so simple that even an
ordinary high school graduate would be able to understand.
It also forces me to ask the question why FIBA seems to be uncomfortable with a
moral and diligent response from other Board of Trustees members, who have
painstakingly followed the Bangkok Agreement?
Personally, I am appalled by this despicable attempt to accommodate Pangilinan
and his cohorts and allow them to lead our basketball body with mindless
abandon using money in lieu of good ideas and a public relations machine to
conceal the true state of the sport.
Let me repeat, basketball in the Philippines is not a business but a real passion.
Allow the legitimate leaders to cure its shortcoming and put an end to the
divisive claws implanted by personal interests such as those openly displayed
by Pangilinan and his rah-rah boys.
Mr. Baumann, this is the moral thing to do and if this is a mistake, it will be
our mistake as a nation and no international organization should interfered with
our learning process.
GO TENG KOK
Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association (PATAFA)
Philippine Karate-do Federation (PKF)
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