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Philippines: GMA Orders GAB to Jail Culprits on Death of Koronadal Boxer

Apr. 04, 2007

MANILA — President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has ordered the Games and Amusements Board (GAB) to make the promoters and managers accountable for the death of Filipino boxer Angelito “Lito” Sisnorio in a mismatch of a fight in Thailand recently.

Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said in his regular press briefing in Malacanang this afternoon that the President also instructed GAB Chairman Eric Buhain to pass a board resolution that would provide cash assistance to the family of the 24-year-old Sisnorio, a former World Boxing Council Youth Flyweight titleholder who collapsed and later died following his match with Thai champ Chatchai Sasakul.

“There is no sense blaming the fellow (Sisnorio) dahil namatay na nga iyong tao, ngunit ang dapat accountable dito ay ang kanyang managers at promoters,” said Ermita, who is also the father-in-law of Buhain.

The GABs legal division, according to Ermita, is now investigating the case thoroughly.

GAB lawyers, according to him, are now preparing possible cases to be filed against those involved in the sending of the Filipino boxer abroad without securing permission from the GAB.

“I was told GAB has already requested the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to help in investigating the incident that led to his (Sisnorio) going to Bangkok without proper authority from GAB,” Ermita said.

Sisnorio allegedly left the country without securing permission from the GAB prior to his fight in Thailand last week.

Reports said the young Filipino fighter died of brain injuries following a fourth round knockout to former world champion Sasakul.

Ermita called the attention of all licensed boxing managers and promoters that they “should not place the lives of their boxers in severe risks,” in exchange for money, by violating GAB policies on the safety of Filipino boxers.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo has instructed the Philippine embassy in Thailand to look into the matter and coordinate with Thai boxing authorities to determine the culprits.

The government, through the GAB, immediately implemented a ban on Filipino boxers in Thailand which has failed on several occasions to request Filipino boxers to provide them their official travel authorization from GAB. (Office of the Press Secretary)

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