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DLSAANC - Headlines - DLSU Official Statement on Player Eligibility Probe

STATEMENT OF DE LA SALLE UNIVERSITY-MANILA
ON THE ELIGIBILITY OF TWO BASKETBALL PLAYERS



The ad hoc fact finding committee formed by De La Salle University-Manila to investigate the alleged ineligibility principally of one player in its men's basketball team has submitted its findings to University officials. The report established the following verifiable information:

1. Two players of our men's basketball team, Mark Benitez and Timoteo Gatchalian III are ineligible for admission to the University as certified by the Department of Education (DepEd) and are thus likewise ineligible to play in the UAAP.
2. In the case of Mark Benitez, the DepEd made certain in its October 7, 2005 certification, that the last PEP Test taken by him was on September 17, 2002. This confirmation excluded any possible error on the ineligibility of Mark Benitez.
3. In the case of Timoteo Gatchalian III, it was only on October 18, 2005 that the University received the confirmation from DepEd, that PEPTCR No. 0069261 was fabricated.
4. After failing to pass the PEP Test on their first try, neither of them took a second exam. In addition, Mark Benitez stated that he was told by Raul Lacson that someone would take the test for him.
5. Mr. Raul Lacson, a contractual statistician of the men's basketball team, was identified as having given the spurious PEPTCR documents to both Mark Benitez and Timoteo Gatchalian III.
6. Manny Salgado was identified as possibly the other person with prior knowledge, as to how the spurious document of Mark Benitez would be obtained.
7. When interviewed by the committee, both Raul Lacson and Manny Salgado stated that they had no personal knowledge or did not know about the questioned document of Mark Benitez.
8. No DLSU official was mentioned by all those interviewed.

The University reiterates its position, that the verification of handcarried documents was precipitated by discussions among school registrars in their recent meetings that fake documents were being submitted for admission purposes. Concerned that some documents submitted to the University may be spurious, DLSU voluntarily included and sought authentication of handcarried PEPTCR documents from the DepEd. The initial verification indicated that one (1) PEPTCR document was fake, while another was subject to further verification.  DLSU received this initial verification at the beginning of the 2nd round of Season 68 or on August 18, 2005 to be exact, the date DLSU received the letter from DepEd. However, it was not until September 30, 2005 that the matter was brought to the attention of the deciding authorities. The delay can be attributed to administrative procedures that had to be followed and the apparent lack of urgency that the matter deserved. We assure you that at no point in this process was there a deliberate attempt to withhold information. After the matter was brought to the attention of the deciding authorities, it was deemed necessary to re-verify the matter from DepEd in order to exclude any possible error of ineligibility. DLSU received the result of this re-verification on October 7, 2005 and immediately wrote the UAAP President to inform him about the matter.

At no point prior to receipt of the results of the voluntary authentication of PEPTCR documents was there any knowledge by the
University or any of its representatives to the UAAP Board that any member of its men's basketball team may have submitted spurious admission documents. In fact, even the DepEd, as reported in newspapers, was not aware of the problem of spurious PEPTCR documents until the University requested it to verify PEPT documents submitted to the University. We reject in the strongest possible terms insinuations that the University purposely concealed the DepEd initial letter of verification received on August 18, 2005. We find these allegations malicious and unworthy of further comment.

While the school recognizes that the two (2) players may have some personal responsibility over these incidents, we also understand their vulnerability given their age and sincere desire to be a part of the University's men's basketball team. However, the University does not and will never condone this conduct and will continue to commit itself to raising the bar of sportsmanship and fair play.

It is our hope that the actions that we have taken and will take on this issue no matter how painful it is for our University will
result in the strengthening of the UAAP, a league that continues to serve as a venue for the development of sportsmanship and fair play among our youth.

CHRONOLOGY OF EVENTS

May 2003 Students Mark Lester S. Benitez and Timoteo D. Gatchalian III were admitted to De La Salle University-Manila under the AB Sports Management Program. Part of the admission credentials submitted were their respective PEPTCR.

March to July 2005 In the meetings of the National Capital Region School Registrars Association (NACSRA) and other associations of school registrars, there were continuing discussions about the increasing number of spurious and tampered documents that are being discovered.

April 2005 The Office of the University Registrar of DLSU-Manila decided to adopt the procedure of verifying Transcript of Records
presented by graduate students in support of their admission.

July 2005 The procedure was expanded to include all handcarried admission documents.

02 August 2005 (Tuesday) The Office of the University Registrar requested the National Education Testing and Research Center (NETRC) of the Department of Education (DepEd) to verify the authenticity of the Certificates of Rating purportedly issued to students of DLSU-Manila (including Mark Lester S. Benitez and Timoteo D. Gatchalian III).

18 August 2005 (Thursday) The Office of the University Registrar received the initial reply of NETRC Executive Director, Dr. Nelia Benito stating:

"The PEPT Certificate of Rating of BENITEZ, MARK LESTER S. is FAKE (entries were fabricated)."

"At this point in time, there is a need to establish further the veracity of the contention of GATCHALIAN, Timoteo D. III that he
alleged to have taken the 2002 PEPT in Quezon City by filling up the verification slip for necessary data."

20 August 2005 (Saturday) The University Registrar informed the new Director of the Office of Sports Development about the situation. 

23 September 2005 (Friday) The University Registrar requested the Office of Sports Development for updates regarding the case.

30 September 2005 (Friday) 12:30 p.m. The University Registrar informed the Executive Vice President about the situation.

30 September 2005 (Friday) 2:30 p.m. The Executive Vice President informed the President about the case.

5 October 2005 (Wednesday), 7:00 p.m. A meeting to discuss the situation was held at the President's Office.

6 October 2005 (Thursday) A letter from DLSU-Manila was sent to the UAAP President regarding the situation. The Executive Vice President requested for another verification with the DepEd to exclude any possible error on the ineligibility of Mark Benitez.

7 October 2005 (Friday) The Executive Vice President received the certification from DepEd on the PEP Test that had been taken by Mark Benitez excluding any error on his ineligibility.

10 October 2005 (Monday) DLSU-Manila sent a letter to the UAAP President acknowledging that the PEPTCR of a men's basketball player is not genuine.  DLSU-Manila informed UAAP that it will investigate the matter.

10 October 2005 (Monday) The Executive Vice President formed an ad hoc committee and appointed its members to investigate the case involving the submission of alleged spurious PEPTCR.

18 October 2005 (Tuesday) The Office of the University Registrar received the reply (dated 10 October, postmarked 17 October) of the Executive Director of the NETRC, Dr. Nelia Benito regarding Timoteo D. Gatchalian III, stating:

"We came to conclude that the said document was fabricated and FAKE."

 

 
 
 


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