An Inboundpass Exclusive: Meet the Orbetas

16 08 2007

(Note: Due to security purposes pictures and other valuable information were not revealed in the interview.)

ANITA Orbeta, the mother of Saint Benilde playmaker Paolo Orbeta, finally spoke to clear the name of her son’s involvement in his alleged illegal gambling activities.

Orbeta, a mother of three, was interviewed by on the night of August 14 along with her husband Chito at their residence in Guadalupe Nuevo to get their side of the story that rocked the entire collegiate basketball league.

Mrs. Orbeta, a high school teacher in Adamson University, fully believed her son is innocent against the accusation made by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

Paolo Orbeta, who was not around during the interview, was arrested last August 3 by NBI agents through an entrapment operation.

But the Manila City Prosecutors Office, in other developments, has reportedly dropped certain charges imposed by the NBI like coercion, robbery and extortion, game-fixing and gambling, among others.

The only case remaining against Paolo Orbeta is the alleged harassment, disproving the claim of the NBI of existing gambling and game-fixing in the collegiate league.

INBOUNDPASS: When you first heard the news what was your reaction?

ANITA ORBETA: We are very sad to what has happened because we are not expecting it. We were all shocked especially when we saw him in TV.

IPC: Do you honestly believe your son is not involved in game-fixing?

AO: Our son is not involved in any game-fixing especially this year because he is playing his final year. At the same time, we know Paolo since the first time he played basketball. He is always ready to sacrifice just to win a game.

He was exposed to this humiliation and he doesn’t deserve it.

IPC: Do you believe your son was framed?

AO: We don’t know the real purpose why it happened, but my son is not involved.

IPC: Was your son treated well by the NBI?

AO: We don’t want to comment on that.

IPC: Did your son’s school treat him well?

AO: Yes the school even provided him with a bodyguard and lots of morale support. We are also happy that Paolo is now studying. He was just suspended for two days. After we talked with school officials, he was cleared by the school.

IPC: Will you not contest your son’s removal from the team?

AO: No need, we are not going to contest it. All we want is to clear Paolo’s name to continue studying.

IPC: Did your son’s school (CSB) not offer any legal aid to your son?

AO: Yes the school offered some lawyers and there are others who want to help out, but we decided to get our own private lawyer.

IPC: Will you file counter-charges against the NBI and the school?

AO: Not now, but we are planning. We just want to clear our son’s name first. We’ll take it one-step at a time.

IPC: What is now the most important advice you can give your son. Would you still allow your son to pursue a career in basketball?

AO: If given a chance, why not? We will allow him because there is still somebody who trusts him. But we are reminding him not to forget his studies. Basketball is only his second opportunity.

IPC: What would you consider the most important virtue of your son?

He is really a hardworking person. He is ready to do his best in everything he wants to accomplish.




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