Mr. Deogracias "Ding" Marcelo
How are you my friend? To this day, I remember how we acted like comrades during the old Basketball Association of the Philippines (BAP) days when you often sang praises to the national basketball federation.
However, you seem to have forgotten those good old days, judging by the vicious attacks you hurled against the BAP in your "Sportsfan" column dated June 25, 2009.
In your column, you likened the BAP to a "cancer" that just would not go away. And that in an imperfect world, the bad guys can win. I presume you are referring to the BAP as the "bad guys." And the "good guys" are the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP).
For thousands, if not millions, of reasons, you are now aligned with the SBP. That I understand.
Of course, the SBP is doing well and its greatest achievement so far is the country’s ninth-place finish during the 2007 FIBA-Asia tournament.
But tell you what, my honorable friend. You certainly have changed your colors since we were touring the globe together in a number of FIBA-sanctioned competitions in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Will you ever forget how we enjoyed traveling to Athens, Greece for the 1998 World Basketball Championship, breaking bread and sharing notes during our spare time?
Back then, I would not even mind if I shelled out a chunk of money for an honorable friend like you. It was just like the old times when you would also cash in a number of checks from another dear friend, Go Teng Kok, to make both ends meet (January 2007 letter is attached).
That was until two years ago, when you started attacking Mr. Go and his NSA (track and field) in your newspaper. Before long, you and Mr. Go parted ways, perhaps because the grass is greener on the opposite end.
Until now, Mr. Go has in his possession a letter he sent you and your
bosses at the Manila Bulletin regarding payola money. A second letter of the same nature was to be sent to you and copy furnish to Dr. Emilio Yap and the others. However, somebody interfered on your behalf and requested Mr. Go not to transmit the second letter because it would be damaging to your reputation and behavior as a journalist.
My honorable friend, I have the second letter in my possession. Now
is the best time to send it to the entire Manila Bulletin editorial staff in my
next letter to you. That way, they will better know who the real Mr. Marcelo is.
Now also is the time for me to tell my side of the story to people in the sports community.
Through the years, you, my honorable friend, have incessantly abused me verbally in your newspaper columns. However, not once did you afford me a chance to reply to those attacks.
And all along, I thought there was more democratic space in the sports section, so much so I would be given my so-called "day in court" in the spirit of fair play.
I was dead wrong. It was as if martial law had not had its closure until now.
The vicious attacks against me and your unabashed public endorsement of the SBP group are blatant violations of the journalism code of ethics.
There are always two sides to a story. You, my honorable friend, chose to favor one (SBP) without any semblance of objectivity and destroy the other (BAP) without any semblance of decency.
The racist streak in you also pounced on my citizenship and deportation case without giving me some space in your sports section to clear my name. Your Marcosian-like one-sidedness is truly amazing, my honorable friend.
It is as if the best way to defend the SBP is to malign me. I know that my replies and statements do not come out on print because you forbid them.
I am afraid your bosses at the Bulletin do not really know how you run the sports section.
Like the rest of the SBP spin doctors, you seek to prop up the fledgling SBP in its battle with the FIBA by conveniently striking me down with questions on my citizenship and deportation case, as if those issues have anything to do with the FIBA’s discovery of the various violations by the SBP vis-a-vis the Bangkok Agreement.
That is the real issue, and not Mr. Graham Lim. Of course, the SBP had to look for a scapegoat in their current troubles and when its officials sought to put the blame on me, you could only follow for some considerations.
For that, I forgive you, my honorable friend.
Still, the truth shall come out in the end. And I just hope you don’t switch sides –again– when all this is over. Just remember, my honorable friend, the last laugh is always the best.
God bless you and your family.
Graham C. Lim
Secretary General, Basketball Association of the Philippines (BAP);
Member, International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Asia Executive
Secretary General, Asian University Basketball Federation (AUBF);
cc: Dr. Emilio T. Yap, Chairman of the Board, Manila Bulletin (MB)
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