DOJ to charge 17 individuals over MPBL game-fixing scandal

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 16 2021 04:40 PM

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has found probable cause against 17 people implicated in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) game-fixing scandal in 2019.

ABS-CBN News' Mike Navallo reported that prosecutors are set to file game-fixing charges against Soccsksargen head coach Ferdinand Melocoton and some basketball players.

Navallo said the resolution was issued back in June 2020, but the filing of charges was delayed due to the pandemic.

"Game-fixing charges in MPBL case will be filed in courts in Batangas, Malolos, Bacoor, Angeles, Pasay, Pasig, Caloocan and Muntinlupa," reported Navallo.

Also charged is a certain "Mr. Sung" who is said to have masterminded the game-fixing scheme. He reportedly earned more than P1 million from the operation.

Also charged are Sonny Uy, Serafin Matias, Jake Diwa, Exequiel Biteng, Jerome Juanico, Matthew Bernabe, Abaham Santos, Ricky Morillo, John Patrick Rabe, Ryan Regalado, Julio Magbanua, Janus Lozada, Joshua Alcober, and individuals only identified as Kein and Emma.

Meanwhile, the complaint against Kevin Espinosa, EJ Avila, Nino Dionisio and Nice Ilagan were dismissed for "insufficiency of evidence."

The MPBL, which is founded by boxing star Manny Pacquiao, filed the complaint before the DOJ back in November 2019.

The probe came after the Soccsksargen Marlins suspiciously lost all their games from July to October.

Those who took part in alleged game-fixing schemes were reportedly paid as much as P40,000 per game.

FROM THE ARCHIVES

Watch more in iWantTFC