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List of Articles by Epifanio M. Almeda

An Open Letter to Quinito M. Henson

By Epifanio M. Almeda
30 Sep 2018

30 September 2018

Subject: Your article on Jerwin Ancajas’ poor excuse for the draw fight result

Dear Quinito M. Henson,

I was enjoying breakfast with my tennis buddies after a set of tennis early this morning. Then, my enjoyment was interrupted when one of my friends read aloud the defamatory and insulting portions of your article, “When Joven almost quit boxing”, in the 30 September 2018 issue of Philstar.

While you did not expressly write my name as the lawyer alluded to, there is no doubt on my identity because you have been writing about Team Ancajas with my name in it in your articles about Jerwin.

You wrote in the last three paragraphs, which adds more “potent punch”, on the intent to besmirch my name, as follows:

“After training in a makeshift gym on a Tanay property owned by another Jimenez boxing student Mark Soong, Ancajas bought land in barangay Ramirez, Magallanes, Cavite. Jimenez and Ancajas put up money to build a gym and dorm in Magallanes, a facility now known as the Survival Camp. PLDT chairman Manny V. Pangilinan gave Ancajas P1 Million as his personal contribution towards finishing the construction of the facility.

“Jimenez and Ancajas, however, are not out of the woods. Instead of using MVP’s donation for the construction, Ancajas gave it in two installments, ₱300,000 and ₱700,000, to a lawyer. The lawyer has filed a case before the GAB and a court in Imus, demanding more money from Ancajas on the basis of a contract of retainership. The lawyer was also paid $1,000 previously. Ancajas and his wife have appeared in four hearings so far. His wife was even pregnant during the hearings.

“Apparently, the contract of retainership contains a clause to compensate the lawyer a percentage of Ancajas’ gross purses. It appears to be more of an agent’s contract. Perhaps, Jimenez and Ancajas were unaware of the legal niceties of the contract. Were they duped? Is the contract irregular? Shouldn’t the lawyer realize that this is causing unnecessary anxiety and distraction to Ancajas who should be 100 percent focused on his boxing career? Surely, it isn’t right for Ancajas to risk his life and leave his blood, sweat and tears in the ring for somebody else to benefit largely from what he earns as a fighter.”

My friends, high school classmates and schoolmates, colleagues, friends and former workmates here in the Philippines and abroad, have read your article and damage to my honor is done.

I will not respond point by point your accusations since the media is never the right venue to settle disputes. I also avoid violating the sub judice rule and I know you know this or you can easily search what this means.

But I may be justified in stating that it is not true that the ₱1,000,000.00 given by PLDT chairman Manny V. Pangilinan went to me. Joven is making a poor excuse in mishandling Jerwin’s money. I hope Mr. Chot Reyes would do his own investigation to really find out where Mr. Pangilinan’s given money went.

I became the lawyer of Jerwin Ancajas and his manager-trainer in 2013 to protect “the legal rights and interest of the Boxer and Manager-Trainer in boxing matters…” The mention of the “Boxer” (Ancajas) first is significant. He is to be protected first. And then, his manager-trainer. This is provided for in the Agreement.

Since 2013, Joven did not give me my contractual share. I was never included in the division of Jerwin’s purses by Joven, who is charged of handling the division of Jerwin’s purses. Being privy to a boxing manager’s life, my first born son having managed a boxer before, I just kept silent justifying in my mind that my contractual share might also support Jerwin’s boxing career.

It is only lately when I asked for my fair contractual share of rendered services as Jerwin was already earning much. In his 5 fights alone from 2017 up to May 2018, Jerwin was paid a total of US$395,000.00, or ₱20,395,000.00, aside from his earnings from sponsorships also handled by Joven.

Joven had been my pro bono client even before 2011 in complaints filed against him in the civil court as well as in the Games and Amusements Board (GAB). The GAB complaints were filed by the same boxers he “managed”.

Being a lover of boxing since my high school days, I have followed the careers, and life, of some of the boxers worldwide. My love for boxing made me a boxing judge. Then, when invited, I readily accepted to be a protector of a boxer, and manager-trainer, who sought my services having in mind the plight of Luisito Espinosa and many other exploited boxers.

The truth is I am protecting Jerwin Ancajas from Joven this being my duty as provided for in our Agreement. It is not an ordinary retainer agreement as Joven wants it to appear. I never thought that I would be protecting the Boxer from his own manager.

Since you mentioned the cases I filed against Joven, I encourage you to read my Complaint and Position Paper in the GAB case. Take particular notice of Joven’s own computations of his sharing with Jerwin. I was even surprised when Joven admitted, during our meeting at Survival Camp on 12 June 2018, why Jerwin’s purses are remitted directly to Joven and not to Jerwin. It is from these computations that I filed legal actions against Joven. The cases filed are not without bases.

It should be clear that I did not file the said cases against Jerwin Ancajas. Jerwin is the victim. Jerwin may be good in heeding the referee’s admonition, “protect yourself at all times”, inside the ring. But he is still to show signs he does it outside of it.

It is unfair to make me an excuse for Jerwin’s not winning his 6th title defense against a determined and an underestimated challenger as many expected.

After you finish reading, Quinito, maybe you can touch on some points and write about it also to undo the damage done to me.

If you do, write only facts, truth. And be balanced in your reporting. You are not balanced in your subject article. You didn’t call me for my comments first. Read the attachments to my complaint in GAB, particularly, Joven’s own computations. After all, you should be interested in reading the “accounting” made by Joven in the expenses which are padded and invalid deductions. The deductions from Jerwin’s purse of US dollars given to media people, as deductions to Jerwin’s earnings, prominently includes your name.

Very truly yours,

Epi Almeda

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