Agbong apologizes, regrets falsifying TOR

By: Glendale G. Rosal - CDN Digital Correspondent | December 03,2023 - 05:10 PM

Evan Jose Agbong during one of his games with USJ-R in the Cesafi.

Evan Jose Agbong during one of his games with USJ-R in the Cesafi. | Photo from Forward Publications

CEBU CITY, Philippines—A remorseful Evan Jose “EJ” Agbong admitted his mistakes that led his team, the University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) Jaguars, from missing the final four in the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation, Inc. (Cesafi) Season 23 men’s basketball tournament.

Agbong sent a letter of apology to Cesafi Commissioner Felix Tiukinhoy Jr. on Saturday, December 2, 2023, stating that he “accepted full responsibility” for his actions and deeply regrets it. 

In his letter, Agbong said that the Transcript of Records (TOR) that he submitted to Cesafi from Liceo de Cagayan University contained edited grades, and he did that out of desperation to provide for his family and his ailing wife, and for his passion for basketball.

“I admit that the Transcript of Records (TOR) I submitted to Cesafi from Liceo de Cagayan University contained edited grades. I deeply regret this action, which I undertook for a moment of desperation and poor judgment. My desire to join the league was driven by a combination of factors including my love for the sport and a specific need to provide for my family due to my wife’s health condition,”  Agbong said. 

Agbong revealed in his letter that he tapped his connections at the Liceo de Cagayan University to edit his grades.

“In this desperate state, I made the wrong decision to ask help from a friend who had a connection with the Registrar  at the Liceo de Cagayan University to edit my grades. I acknowledge that this action was unethical and violated the trust placed in me as a student-athlete,” Agbong said.

However, it wasn’t clearly stated in his letter if Agbong also submitted his TOR from the Jose Rizal University. 

NO COACHES INVOLVED

Aside from apologizing, Agbong admitted to his sole involvement in this fiasco. 

He said that USJ-R’s athletics office, office of the registrar, and his coaches Melo Banua and James Clifford Racines were not involved in the tampering of his grades. 

“They had no knowledge of the altered grades and only became aware of the situation when the issue came to light publicly, and I confess my actions to them. This was further verified by them only when the school received my official TOR,” said Agbong. 

Ultimately, Agbong said that he is ready to face the sanctions that the Cesafi will impose upon him.

CESAFI’S FINDINGS

Cesafi Deputy Commissioner, Atty. Boyet Velez, who led the investigation in uncovering Agbong’s falsified records also released a written statement on their findings on Saturday. 

He said they found out that Agbong didn’t meet the required 60% passing grade since five of his six enrolled subjects at the Liceo de Cagayan were dropped, while one subject had a failing grade of 5.0.

This was completely different from what Agbong submitted to the Cesafi screening committee, proving that he falsified his grades. 

Velez and Cesafi issued a show-cause order to ask Agbong to justify why he should not be banned for life from joining the Cesafi. 

Aside from forfeiting three games that USJ-R won with Agbong playing, Cesafi also suspended Banua and Racines from coaching the Baby Jaguars basketball team which is the top seed in the Cesafi high school semifinals against the UV Baby Green Lancers.

This means that Edito Salacut helms the head coaching job for the meantime. 

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TAGS: Agbong, basketball, Cesafi, USJ-R

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