MANILA -- (UPDATED) Basketball legend and now Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) official Ramon Fernandez reiterated that he will pursue legal action against Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Jose "Peping" Cojuangco over allegations of game fixing.
Cojuangco earlier claimed that the former four-time PBA Most Valuable Player was involved in throwing away games during his heyday as a professional basketball player.
"He's entitled to his opinion. It's hard to argue with Peping Cojuangco because he's an old man. He believes in his own lies," Fernandez said at the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) forum at the Golden Phoenix Hotel on Tuesday.
"Sana kung naglalaro pa ko ngayon, I wouldn't even mind that and let my game do the talking," he added. "But ngayon, it's a different story. Bigyan naman niya ng respeto 'yung office ng assistant secretary to the President."
Fernandez, who played for PBA teams like Toyota, Purefoods and San Miguel, said he will likely file the libel case on Friday or early next week in Cebu City.
"With what he told you guys, he didn't have the chance to prove that in the proper forum and I'm bringing him to court to Cebu City to answer all his accusations," he said.
Fernandez has been critical against Cojuangco's leadership, particularly on how he has been handling the POC in recent years.
The POC president wasn't pleased by the unsavory comments by Fernandez that he brought up the topic about game-fixing.
“Si Mon (Fernandez), he used to fix games against Toyota,” Cojuangco said in a previous PSA forum.
“Kung ikaw nakakapagtapon ka ng game para sa pera, key member ka ng team, gusto mo bang ganun ang mamahala ng sports natin? How would the athletes feel na ang boss nila ay ganung klaseng tao?” Cojuangco said.
But Fernandez didn't back down and threatened to file libel charges against the POC official.
"As what he said last time na hindi ako qualified, I can throw that question back to him: What makes him qualified to be a POC president?" he said. "Ang problema kasi kay Mr. Cojuangco, walang kumu-kwestyon sa kanya. Lahat ng tao takot sa kanya, ever since before."
"'Yung paratang niya sa kin, korte nang bahala doon."
When asked if he's willing to sit down with Cojuangco to settle their differences, Fernandez said: "Let me file this case first then after that we can talk."
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