GM Antonio sues Pichay, chess body
Friday, September 3, 2010

CHESS grandmaster Joey Antonio has blasted the National Chess Federation of the Philippines president Prospero Pichay for removing him from the RP team set to see action in the World Chess Olympics in Russia on Sept. 21 to Oct. 3.

In an e-mail to lawyer Sammy Estimo, the former secretary general of the NCFP, Antonio said the NCFP president also asked the Philippine Sports Commission to remove his name from the agency’s payroll.

Antonio said Pichay’s directives stemmed from his inability to join either the Pichay Cup and the Florencio Campomanes Cup because of a previous commitment to play in the United States.

Antonio, who is currently in the US, said he was surprised by Pichay’s sudden change of heart because the NCFP president himself signed his (Antonio’s) request for financial assistance from the PSC.

The beleaguered grandmaster said he even paid a courtesy call on PSC chair Ritchie Garcia after his request was approved.

“I am surprised at this complete turn-around in the stand of Mr. Pichay,” wrote Antonio in his e-mail. “Maybe, he has forgotten it, and just listened to the suggestions of Willy Abalos (NCFP executive director), his trusted man.”

Estimo explained that under the by-laws of the NCFP, before any disciplinary action can be slapped against any player, he must be given a chance to defend himself before the NCFP Internal Affairs Committee after proper notice has been served.

In the case of Antonio, Estimo said the chess GM was denied his right to due process.

Antonio’s wife, Aileen, yesterday pleaded with Mr. Pichay in his office to lift the ban against her husband, but the NCFP chief refused to relent.

When she reasoned out that it was Pichay who approved Antonio’s trip to the US, Pichay reportedly passed the blame to his people at the NCFP office.

“The actuations of Mr.Pichay and Mr. Abalos had besmirched my reputation as a national sports figure, and had caused me extreme mental anguish and sleepless nights. They left me without a choice but to sue them in court, civilly and criminally,” Antonio added in his e-mail.

Antonio will return from the United States on September 11.


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