BLACKWATER is now in hot water.
Games and Amusements Board (GAB), headed by Chairman Abraham “Baham” Mitra, would like to know if there is really a violation on the part of the Elite regarding the safety protocols being imposed by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) on the pro league.
“We will look into the matter as soon as possible. We will talk to the PBA and we will write them (Elite) a letter to ask them to explain their side. Kailangan malinawan natin agad ito,” said Mitra in an interview with People’s Tonight.
Mitra clarified that “although the IATF has already given the PBA the green light, the final date of the official practice period has yet to be decided.”
“Sa ngayon, wala pa talagang kumpletong team practice. Kahit nga scrimmages. The IATF was very clear about it kahit nun nakikipag-usap pa lang kami. They are very careful,” said Mitra.
Mitra also revealed that the Joint Administrative Order being prepared by the PBA, GAB and the Department of Health and to be approved by the IATF has not yet come out.
DOH Sec. Francisco Duque III has not even formally signed the documents allowing the PBA and Philippine Football Federation yet.
“Kung talagang may violation sila, nakakalungkot na nangyari ito, lalo na wala pa yun final approval. Kung tutuusin nga, ang dapat talaga sana na ipatutupad, no vaccine, no sports muna,” explained Mitra.
“But we will summon them (Blackwater) and give them a chance to explain before we take the necessary action.”
The three-time lawmaker from Palawan admitted that a fine or even a suspension could be slapped on Blackwater.
“Bukod pa ito sa hakbang na maaaring gawin ng PBA under Commisisoner (Willie) Marcial. Nag-uusap naman kami,” explained Mitra.
He expressed hope that the IATF approval on the PBA will not be affected because of this reported violation by only one team.
Under the IATF approved protocols given to the league, only four players, accompanied by a trainer or coach, along with a safety officer, are allowed inside the training facility by batches.
“Sana wala na maging problema. As I’ve said, grabe ka-ganda yun safety protocols na ginawa ng PBA at ipinadala namin sa IATF.
Earlier, Marcial has already asked the management of Blackwater to explain its side on what its owner claimed over national television was a team workout conducted by the Elite last week.
A letter signed by Marcial and dated July 14 was already delivered to Blackwater team governor Silliman Sy, asking him to explain what exactly happened during the practice session.