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Board defers talks on Narvasa impasse

Ramoncito Fernandez and Robert Non

MANILA, Philippines — The opposing groups in the PBA board of governors have reached an agreement to resolve the issue involving commissioner Chito Narvasa during their planning session in Los Angeles next week.

The MVP/PLDT-led bloc and the five-man group led by league governors from San Miguel Corp. have agreed to settle the controversy in their crucial Nov. 14 conference.

“With the best interest of the league in mind, we have come to an agreement to reach out to the other members of the board to resolve this impasse as a collegial body, not as individuals, to maintain the integrity of the PBA and protect the interest of fans nationwide,” said the SMC bloc, led by San Miguel governor Robert Non, in a statement.

The group, composed of San Miguel, Ginebra, Star, Kia and GlobalPort, also appealed to the other members of the board to refrain from issuing any statement until after they have deliberated on, and settled the standoff. 

But before the agreement, incoming board chair Ramoncito Fernandez of NLEX and the six other governors in their group that includes  those from Meralco, Talk N Text, Alaska, Rain Or Shine, Blackwater and Phoenix, issued a statement urging Narvasa to make the supreme sacrifice to voluntarily step down from office to prevent a division of the PBA board.

“If the commissioner really loves the PBA and the public as he conveniently espouses, he may make the supreme sacrifice of voluntarily stepping down to prevent a division of the board and stalled basketball operations,” said the group in a statement. “Maybe with his ultimate sacrifice the public will forget the past and give honor to his act of leaving the post.”

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Narvasa has said he’s ready to resign but is staying on to fight for the proper rules and procedures to be followed.

“I know that I’m here only temporarily, but as long as the issue isn’t resolved, I will not abandon the PBA which we all love, all the Filipinos love,” Narvasa said.

He said he’s heeding the call of his lawyers and the five PBA governors to fight for the procedures.

“I’m willing to resign as I don’t need this. I don’t want enemies and I want the people in the PBA happy. I’m ready to sacrifice. But for principle, then I must stay,” he said. “The board must be able to determine what’s the right decision, what’s the right process, then come up with the right decision.”

The seven governors insisted they’re not firing Narvasa but not supporting the renewal of his term “which has effectively expired at the end of the 42nd season.”

“Mr. Narvasa clearly knows that his term is on a yearly basis as this is contained in the minutes of the meeting of the board as well as when he assumed the post of chief operating officer which has a term limit of one year,” their statement said.

They contended their action of not supporting the extension of Narvasa’s term “was precisely to prevent the futile exercise of one proposing his reappointment which needs eight affirmative votes.”

They said Narvasa would not get the number with the non-support of a great majority.

“It pains us that in order to remove the heat from him, Narvasa conveniently uses other issues to divert the real situation that a majority of the board including the public do not want his continued stay,” their statement said.

“Regrettably Narvasa, in clinging to the position, is using the current situation to divide the board to the detriment of the PBA and the public.

“With his continued defiance, there will be a situation that the PBA will not be able to operate since any act of the commissioner needs the affirmative support of a majority of the board which he regrettably doesn’t have.”

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