Teams who weren’t part of the majority bloc of the PBA board that wants to remove commissioner Chito Narvasa threw its support behind the embattled league’s top officer on Thursday.
In a statement, San Miguel Beermen executive Robert Non, speaking on behalf of San Miguel, Ginebra, Star, Kia and GlobalPort, denounced the move and called the seven board members as “renegade”.
“They cannot just act on a whim. What they are doing is not in accordance with our by-laws and constitution. All five teams – San Miguel, Ginebra, Star, Kia and Globalport – stand behind Commissioner Narvasa. He enjoys our full support and we have prevailed upon him to stay and do what is right,” Non said.
“These officials do not constitute the majority needed to remove or appoint the commissioner and thereafter, make any changes in the PBA structure.”
Non said “Narvasa’s removal” wasn’t binding as it didn’t constitute a majority vote of the league board membership. Incoming PBA board chairman Ramoncito Fernandez clarified earlier that the board wasn’t expelling Narvasa although it wasn’t also endorsing the extension of his term which, he said, expires at the end of the season.
Non also explained that the five teams which were absent from Thursday’s special board meeting weren’t informed a week before it was held–a violation of the seven-day rule.
He also took a jab at the seven board members who, he said, cannot explain specific instances why they lost confidence in Narvasa apart from the MVP group’s dissatisfaction over the controversial Kia-San Miguel trade.
“So without this clear majority, all changes being made by these renegade members are not allowed, including the appointment of Rickie Santos as officer-in-charge, and would not be binding on the whole board membership,” Non said.
“This move does not sit well with the rest of us board members. Any move should be made in the proper forum and must be covered the league’s rules and regulations. Any move beyond this is definitely not allowed.
“If we allow that to happen, then this will weaken the Commissioner’s Office and turn it into a puppet of whoever is the most powerful among the team owners.”
Not stepping down
For his part, Narvasa said he is not stepping down from his post until the board members iron out their differences on league rules about the term of a commissioner.
“They’re all grown men. They will find a way. I hope that the board talks among themselves, and I want clarified on the matter, not for me, but for the future commissioners of the league,” Narvasa said in a press conference.
“I know that I’m here only temporarily, but as long as the issue isn’t resolved, I will not abandon the PBA which we all love, all the Filipinos love.”