PBA chairman Robert Non, breaking the board of governors' silence in the face of criticism, insisted on Sunday that the controversial rehiring of the league's marketing director went through the proper process.
Speaking in a hastily called press conference at the PhilSports Arena, Non, flanked by Commissioner Chito Narvasa and vice-chairman Eric Arejola, said the board 'deliberated lengthily when it decided to rehire Rhose Montreal - just two weeks after accepting her resignation.
Montreal resigned after admitting that she faked documents to show that she graduated cum laude from the University of the Philippines when she applied for the position, a claim later refuted by the UP Registrar's Office.
Reports of Montreal's falsified documents first came out on social media.
Non reiterated that the league board took back Montreal for 'humanitarian reasons and exemplary performance' on her part, citing figures to show that the league benefited during her time in charge of the marketing department.
San Miguel's representative to the board also said Montreal forfeited all benefits when she resigned from the board and then applied for the position along with a number of others.
She was taken back on a six-month probationary period, he added.
“The board came out with the decision and accepted Ms. Montreal on the following conditions, that when she earlier resigned she forfeited her benefits, and she will be under a six-month probationary period,” said the league chairman.
Responding to statements made by Alaska owner Wilfred Uytengsu questioning why it was the board - and not the commissioner - which decided on Montreal's rehiring, Non said the board has the power to hire people for top positions in the league under the PBA by-laws.
Curiously, Narvasa was named concurrent CEO in the same meeting when the board decided to rehire Montreal.
“Under the league by-Laws, hiring of certain personnel especially finance and the league’s marketing, is ‘vested under the Board,” said Non, who sat in between commissioner Chito Narvasa and vice-chairman Eric Arejola of Globalport
“All others fall under the office of the commissioner.”