Will Luat and Grandea get off the hook?

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    BILLIARDS and Snooker Confederation of the Philippines secretary general Robert Mananquil is still scratching his head, wondering how sacked coaches Rodolfo Luat and Reynaldo Grandea were able to get nearly P1 million from the Philippine Sports Commission as the coaches’ share of the incentives won by cue artists in the 30th Southeast Games without the BSCP’s authorization.

    Even more peculiar, Mananquil noted, was that the PSC found nothing irregular about the release of the bonuses to Luat and Grandea after the government sports agency conducted an investigation into the case and submitted its findings to PSC officer-in-charge Ramon Fernandez.

    “I have read the report (about the case of Luat and Grandea) and everything seems to be in order,” Fernandez said. “Unless we get a complaint we will not be able to act.”

    Mananquil surmised that his signature and that of BSCP president Atty. Alito Malinao may have been forged to enable both coaches to get the incentives.

    “We will now file a formal complaint with the PSC regarding the matter once we obtain a copy of the alleged BSCP authorization,” he said. “We were in the process of doing this when the country went on lockdown last March.”

    Mananquil pointed out that Luat could not be the national team coach “because he was already the competition manager of the billiards and snooker event of the 30th SEA Games and receiving a salary from PHISGOC (Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee). He was also getting a separate salary from the BSCP.”

    Pinoy cue aces were among the top producers for the country in the last SEA Games, bagging four gold, three silver and five bronze medals, with billiards legends Efren “Bata” Reyes and Francisco “Django” Bustamante named as the national team coaches, according to Mananquil.

    Mananquil said he had submitted the names of Reyes and Bustamante to the PSC’s National Sports Affairs department, which processes the incentives, as early as (last) November “so it is impossible for both Luat and Grandea to get them (incentives).”

    He added that the matter was brought to the BSCP’s attention by the national players and discussed during a general meeting last February in the presence of BSCP chairman Aristeo Puyat and Malinao.