MANILA—The Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) on Tuesday filed multiple counts of game-fixing charges against 21 members of Soccsksargen Marlins for allegedly rigging the league's game results.
Charged before the Department of Justice (DOJ) in violation of Presidential Decree 483 that penalizes betting, game fixing, and point shaving in sports contests were 9 members of the managing team and 11 basketball players of Soccsksargen Marlins.
Sen. Manny Pacquiao, chairman and founder of MPBL, earlier suspended the team over allegations of game fixing.
According to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), the games were thrown for gambling purposes in favor of the team's Chinese financier identified as a certain Mr. Sung.
Mr. Sung, who allegedly the mastermind of the operations, dictated the team's score on every quarter to lure bettors but only for them to lose in the end.
MPBL commissioner Kenneth Duremdes said the investigation came after the Soccsksargen Marlins suspiciously lost all their games from July to October.
"They keep on fouling, they get technical... Very doubtful 'yong mga actions na 'yon," he said.
The team coach and several basketball players reportedly blew the lid off the operations.
Those who took part in alleged game-fixing schemes were reportedly paid as much as P40,000 per game.
Mr. Sung, meanwhile, allegedly earned more than P1 million from the operations.
"Kung ginagawa niyo 'yan sa ibang liga, huwag dito sa MPBL. Huwag dito," Pacquiao warned.—Report from Niko Baua and Johnson Manabat, ABS-CBN News
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