LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The Games and Amusement Board denied allegations that it has been remiss in giving the financial assistance a Thai philanthropist is extending to 20 former world boxing champions including a trainer based here now.
In an open letter published on its Facebook wall, GAB denied allegations that it has stopped giving or failed to give the monthly assistance to the 20 former world champion as alleged by one of the beneficiaries.
GAB in the statement said that Naris Singwangcha, the Thai philanthropist who in June 2018 started giving a P3,000 monthly assistance to 20 former boxers has stopped giving money since last March due to the pandemic.
GAB said that due to the pandemic, especially with Thailand seeing a surge of Covid-19 cases since March, the agreement it signed with Singwangcha cannot be fulfilled.
GAB wrote: “Ngunit nuong March 3, 2021 sumulat po si Mr. Singwangcha sa pamamagitan ni Mr. Brico Santig na sa dahilang may pandemiya ay hindi na maitutuloy ang MOA at tulong pinansiyal para sa mga boksingero at magpadala na lamang siya ng huling pinansiyal para sa 9 na buwan sa mga benepisyaryo nito. (But last March 3, Mr. Singwangcha wrote us through Mr. Brico Santig that due to the pandemic, the MOA, signed by GAB and Singwangcha, for financial assistance will not continue and that the latter will only give for the last nine months).”
However, the money for the last nine months, that will end this year, has not been received by GAB yet.
GAB wrote: “Wala na pong pondong hawak ang GAB mula kay Mr. Singwangcha, kaya wala pong maibibigay sa ating mga world boxing champions (GAB has not received the funds from Mr. Singwangcha, so it can not release any money to the world boxing champions).”
In June of 2018, Singwangcha, through its foundation, released some US16,500 (roughly P900,000) to be used for the benefits of 20 former world boxing champions and to help them with their expenses including medical needs.
The assistance was worked out by GAB through its chairman Abraham Mitra and commissioners Ed Trinidad and Mar Masangid and GAB and Singwangcha entered into a memorandum of agreement to effect the steady release of the monthly financial assistance.
The money was given in several trenches and through several channels including Santig of Highland Boxing Promotions and the same were given to the former world champions on a monthly basis.
The 20 former world boxing champions are: International Boxing Federation World Flyweight champion Tacy Macalos, IBF World Minimumweight tilist Eric Chavez, World Boxing Association World Flyweight Joma Gamboa, Bernabe Villacampo (WBA flyweight), Rene Barrientos (World Boxing Council super featherweight), Erbito salavarria (WBC flyweight), Ben Villaflor (WBA super featherweight), Rolando Navarette (WBC super featherweight), Frank Cendeno (WBC flyweight), Bobby Berna (IBF super bantamweight), Dodie Boy Penalosa (IBF light flyweight), Rolando Bohol (IBF flyweight), Rolando Pascua (WBC light flyweight), Manny Melchor (IBF minimumweight), Morris East (WBA super lightweight), Luisito Espinosa (WBA bantamweight), Malcolm Tunacao (WBC flyweight), , Gerry Penalosa (WBC superflyweight), Eric Jamili (WBO minimumweight) and Florante Condes (IBF minimumweight).
Gamboa trains Highland boxers and just this week flew to South Africa with Jonathan Almacen where the latter will be fighting on May 22.
The money earlier released has been depleted and as early as September last year, GAB has written Singwangcha on the release of succeeding funds.
GAB added: “Hindi po interesado ang sinuman sa GAB sa pondong pinapadala ni Mr. Singwangcha. At kung meron mang pondo ay binibigay ito sa ating mga kampeon (GAB is not interested in the funds sent by Mr. Singwangcha. And if there are funds given, we will make sure that the boxers will get it.”