STATEMENT OF DE LA
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
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
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
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
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
"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."