The professional license of beleaguered basketball player Daniel De Guzman has been suspended by the Games and Amusements Board (GAB) after he was a no-show in a virtual meeting set on Friday morning.
GAB Chairman Baham Mitra told News5's Lyn Olavario that the matter has been elevated to administrative proceedings due to the non-appearance.
According to Mitra, De Guzman begged off from the virtual meeting because he was allegedly suffering from a fever.
"During the administration proceedings, he will be asked to appear and if he doesn't appear then, he's risking his professional career. If you keep on avoiding appearing in proper forums, there's a chance that he is guilty," opined Mitra.
"If I am accused of something, in any forum that is available to me, I will appear, I will clear my name. Because it's an opportunity to clear your name. But he did not, that is why we are perplexed," he added.
For the duration of the administrative proceedings, the GAB will summon the player from Nueva Ecija through a formal notice which will be sent to him.
As such, due process shall be followed, per Mitra, but De Guzman cannot play professionally for the meantime until the proceedings send out a recommendation. If he is found guilty, his GAB license will be permanently revoked.
"He shall not be allowed to use his license in the meantime and if proven guilty he may lose his professional basketball players license," Mitra told ESPN5.
De Guzman's name was plastered across social media when screenshots of an alleged Viber conversation involving him and acquaintances talking about game outcomes came out.
The 42nd overall pick of the 2019 PBA Rookie Draft allegedly gave tips to his betting friends in exchange for a monetary reward if the tip came through.
However, to the chagrin of his friends, his tips did not follow through, causing them to lose thousands of pesos.
De Guzman is currently not on the San Miguel roster, nor is he inside the closed-circuit bubble in Pampanga. He was last listed in the Beermen's 3x3 team, but the PBA's 3x3 tournament has not pushed through yet due to the pandemic.
Danny Espiritu, De Guzman's agent, told ESPN5's Richard Dy that he was unaware of his client's no-show earlier, and that he had been trying to contact De Guzman to get feedback on what happened.
"I also want to know what happened, but I haven't been able to reach him," Espiritu said in Filipino.
Espiritu added he had urged De Guzman to honor the GAB's invitation so that he could clear his name and not put his playing career in jeopardy.
"I told him he needed to give his attention to this (GAB invitation), otherwise his license might be revoked and his career will be affected."
With additional reporting from Richard Dy.