The allegations of former courtside reporter Agatha Uvero brought to light previous cases of domestic abuse involving basketball players.
Uvero accused her former partner Paul Desiderio, player of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), of physical and emotional abuse during their relationship.
In a statement on Twitter on Wednesday, July 13, she listed horrifying acts that Desiderio had allegedly done to her.
Uvero further noted that some of these alleged actions were committed when she was pregnant with their child.
“I really didn’t wanna do this but the threats have been difficult and I owe this to myself and to women out there,” Uvero said on her tweet.
😞 I really didn’t wanna do this but the threats have been difficult and I owe this to myself and to women out there… pic.twitter.com/acjRWLOscw
— Jean Agatha (@agathauvero) July 12, 2022
In one of the images of her notes, Uvero bared her reason for breaking her silence this way following their public split last July.
“Please ladies, we can’t allow this to keep happening. Men should be accountable for their actions,” Uvero said.
The former courtside reported’s tweet immediately blew up on the micro-blogging platform.
So far, it garnered over 4,000 retweets, 4,300 quote-retweets and 21,600 likes.
Desiderio’s name also reached the trending topics on local Twitter with over 3,000 tweets under its belt on that day.
Desiderio, who was a stellar player during his time at the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP), also received backlash for his alleged acts.
Others also poured out their support for Uvero for her bravery in speaking up.
The PBA later announced that it will conduct an inquiry about these allegations involving the Blackwater player.
“This league will conduct an inquiry and hand down its findings and resolution as soon as the facts are clearly established. We are confident that the Blackwater management will extend its full cooperation and assistance toward ensuring that a just determination is reached,” its statement reads.
Violence against women problem
Ceej Tantengco, women empowerment advocate and head of partnerships at PumaPodcast, lamented that PBA players who have been involved in domestic abuse cases were still allowed to play in the league.
Tantengco expressed this in a quote-retweet to Uvero’s post.
“There has been at least 1 publicized case of domestic abuse by a PBA player per year since 2018. All players have continued to play in the league with negligible effects on their careers. The PBA has a VAW problem and we need to talk about it,” she said.
Rundown of cases
Some Twitter pundits also brought up names of current and former PBA players who have figured in serious controversies prior to Desiderio.
Scottie Thompson, Robert Bolick, and now Paul Desiderio. this generation of basketball players got serious issues
— Apo Ferrer (@ApoFerrer) July 13, 2022
— Mike Saulo (@mikesaulo) July 13, 2022
In May 2018, Macmac Cardona, also known as “Captain Hook,” was arrested for allegedly stabbing his partner Bianca Nicole Jackes in Makati City.
Jackes also alleged that her relationship with Cardona was characterized by physical abuse and domestic violence.
In July 2019, Calvin Abueva of the Phoenix Pulse Fuel Masters was accused of domestic violence by his estranged wife Sam.
Through a series of Instagram Stories, his ex-wife detailed the alleged abuse she suffered during their relationship.
In April 2021, Jio Jalalon of Magnolia got himself embroiled in a scandal brought to light by his wife Kristina.
Through her personal Instagram and Facebook accounts, Kristina alleged the PBA star of multiple instances of infidelity and domestic abuse.
She also detailed some of these alleged terrible acts on her posts.
At around the same time, Scottie Thompson of Barangay Ginebra got hit by cheating allegations after his sudden split with long-time partner Pau Fajardo.
Thompson and Fajardo got engaged in January 2021.
However, in June of that year, the former married social media personality Jinky Serrano.
In February 2022, Beau Belga of Rain or Shine was accused of infidelity and abuse by his wife Queenie Manalo-Belga via Facebook.
The woman claimed that their marital issues started after Belga entered the PBA bubble in 2021.
In May of the same year, another PBA star Robert Bolick of NorthPort came under fire on social media after he accused his former girlfriend Aby Marano of having an abortion.
Bolick’s personal life was already in hot water at that time following his marriage to social media influencer Cassandra Yu, thereby shocking his fans.
What the PBA should do
In an interview with Interaksyon, Tantengco said that PBA and the teams managing the players have poor responses in addressing these kinds of problems.
“The PBA, as well as the individual teams’ management, all have a role to play in upholding certain standards of behavior and holding these men accountable,” she said.
“Kulang talaga ang response ng liga, which to be honest, hindi nakakagulat kasi puro old men ang nasa itaas,” she added.
Tantengco further stated that PBA should treat these acts as they are—criminal acts.
“The approach of the PBA has been to treat VAWC cases as personal matters and not get involved. We need to question that, especially since these are criminal acts,” she said.
Meanwhile, victims of VAW can reach out to the following government hotlines and report their cases to the Department of Social Welfare and Development, SWD, Philippine National Police, the PNP Women and Children Protection Center, and the National Bureau of Investigation Violence Against Women and Children Desk.