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Romero: Game fixing tarnishes image of Philippine sports
Rep. Mikee Romero
STAR/File

Romero: Game fixing tarnishes image of Philippine sports

(The Philippine Star) - April 18, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Deputy Speaker Mikee Romero said players, coaches and officials involved in the controversial VisMin Super Cup match between Lapu-Lapu City and Siquijor should suffer the severest possible penalty under the law once proven guilty of game fixing.

Romero, who represents 1Pacman Party List in the House of Representatives, said these players showed utter disrespect to the sport closest to the hearts of Filipinos so they deserve to be fined and banned from competing in any league at all.

“For showing disgraceful acts, the players, staff, officials and persons behind these shenanigans must be severely punished,” said Romero, who once served as godfather to amateur basketball in the country.

The team owner of NorthPort in the PBA is vigorously batting for the passage of a measure imposing penalties on game fixing.

“They have no place in Philippine sports, basketball in particular,” said Romero who was also aghast with what he saw in the game where both teams dubiously missed free throws or what looked like easy shots.

In video clips that circulated in social media after that game last Wednesday in Alcantara, Cebu, one player even failed to convert an open layup. The league already expelled the Siquijor Mystics while several players and officials of the Lapu-Lapu Heroes were fined and suspended.

Romero is also calling on all law enforcement agencies to step up their investigation on the incident that is “tarnishing the image of Philippine sports.”

While Romero admits that it will take time before one could be proven guilty of such horrible act, the House members, he said, had already approved on third and final reading the measure on game fixing with a vote of 211-0.

House Bill 8870, which Romero authored, seeks to protect the integrity of any sport because of the proliferation of enterprising individuals who want to make money through manipulation of results of matches. The bill, according to Romero, covers pro and amateur sports.

Convicted game fixers, according to Romero, will suffer three to six years of imprisonment and be fined from P1 million to P5 million.

MIKEE ROMERO
Philstar
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