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Duncil birth case in Macabebe

Tuesday, 17 July 2007 8 Comments note: This article also appeared on the July 17 issue of the PHILIPPINE CHRONICLE, the first newspaper to print the Jojo Duncil issue last June 7, 2007. This article was edited by Philippine Chronicle Sports Editor Al Mendoza.

MACABEBE, Pampanga—Why only now?

This was the question posed by several coaches and UAAP officials on the move of Jojo Duncil to correct his true year of birth.

During the UAAP press conference on July 2, the University of Sto . Tomas, through its athletic director Ermito de Sagon, said that Duncil was dropped from the UST roster this season because Duncil has two certificates of birth containing two different years of the cager’s year of birth—one was 1982 and the other 1983.

Duncil had said during the press conference that he had filed a case in Apalit, Pampanga, to correct the alleged flaw.

Said De Sagon, “One of Duncil’s birth certificates will make him eligible to play (1983) and the other (1982) not.”

On Friday, July 13, this writer went to Apalit, Pampanga, to check on Duncil’s court case.

There was none and instead, the case was filed here, which is 30 minutes by bus from Apalit.

The CHRONICLE/ learned that the case, filed by lawyer Victor Rodriguez on Duncil’s behalf, did not mention about Duncil’s two alleged NSO-certified certificates of birth as mentioned by De Sagon on July 2.

Maria Chico, the clerk of court in Apalit, said Apalit only hears criminal and civil cases.

Duncil’s case is “a special proceedings case.”

This town’s clerk of court said Duncil’s case was filed last June 7, 2007, the day the CHRONICLE first broke the news about Duncil’s birth certificate.

“The hearing of Duncil’s case might last for three months, depending on documents and pieces of evidence presented,” said the clerk of court, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The case, docketed as No. 07-05-85-M, would initially require Duncil to present documents like his voter’s ID, school records, baptismal and affidavits showing his purported year of birth.

Duncil’s case has sparked a lively debate among UAAP officials.

“Why did Mr. Duncil not correct his records when he was still in high school or elementary?” said one UAAP official, who requested anonymity. “If he had done so, this mess would not have happened in the first place.”

“We’re wondering why Jojo waited for more than 10 years to settle his true year of birth,” said former Far Eastern U mentor Bert Flores, now the team’s consultant.

“The way he was dropped from UST was very doubtful,” said William “Bogs” Adornado, the Adamson coach, who was a star UST cager during his heyday. “If there was really no problem with his year of birth, why did they drop the player from the line-up? And why only now?”

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