FIRST the bad news: There’s no official word yet from management of the Mall of Asia Arena regarding its own investigation on the burglary incident that took place during the PBA Philippine Cup game between Meralco and Globalport last Wednesday.
Now, for some piece of good news: MOA venue general manager Arnel Gonzales has assured Meralco management that they will be replacing all the items lost by Meralco personnel.
“Yes, we will be replacing all the items Meralco lost. That’s part of management’s show or act of good faith to the PBA,” Gonzales told Spin.ph in an exclusive interview.
Gonzales heads the team investigating the burglary incident that happened right inside the Meralco dugout while the Bolts were in the middle of their game against Batang Pier.
He said MOA management hopes to hand out the replacement items within this week.
PBA board vice-chairman Mon Seguismundo, Meralco’s representative to the Board, said the team appreciates the gesture of MOA, although he hopes the lost items will be delivered by Monday.
“I was told by Commissioner (Chito Salud) that they (MOA Arena management) will be replacing all the items we lost. We want the items delivered by tomorrow (Monday). It’s for their (coaching staff’s) own peace of mind,” Seguismundo said.
Still, the league vice-chairman is waiting for an official word from MOA Arena management as far as the result of the CCTV review of the venue is concerned.
Gonzales said review of the CCTV is still ongoing, though once the results are available, it will be forwarded to the PBA Commissioner’s Office, which will make the formal announcement of the investigation.
On Wednesday, Meralco coach Ryan Gregorio and his coaching staff lost their valuables after burglars managed to get inside the team dugout while the Bolts were playing the Batang Pier in the first half.
Gregorio’s Adidas shoulder bag was later recovered near the entrance to the hallway leading to the dugout. But his iPad, iPhone, and wallet were already gone.
Gregorio said while he has been informed of the MOA Arena’s plan to replace all the items lost, some of the priceless files of his family which he lost can no longer be replaced.
“Ang masakit lang talaga is the files my kids lost. But everything has a reason. It’s just a sad event. The world was not made for our convenience. Mga pictures ng anak ko, programs in school, lahat nandun (iPhone and iPad),” lamented Gregorio.
“Nung na-track ko yung iPhone, nasa Greenhills na eh, tapos nung na-try ko uli tawagan, wala na.”
He was just thankful that upon checking his Adidas shoulder bag, he found two his credit cards were not taken by the robbers.
“Thankful na rin ako at di kinuha yung two credit cards ko,” he added.
To avoid any similar incident in the future, Seguismundo said the team has added its own security inside the Bolts’ dugout to personally man their belongings.
The MOA Arena management has also tightened security all over the venue, with security personnel stationed all over the press room entrance and hallway leading to the teams’ dugout.