One-on-one with Graham Lim | Bandera

One-on-one with Graham Lim

Eric Dimson - August 30, 2013 - 02:33 PM

KAKAMBAL na yata ng dating secretary general ng Basketball Association of the Philippines (BAP) na si Graham Lim ang kontrobersya. Gayunman, hindi maitatatwa na isang mahalagang bahagi siya ng sports sa ating bansa. Minsan nang nakulong ng pitong buwan dahil diumano sa pagiging illegal at undesirable alien niya, si Lim ay kasalukuyang nasa ibang bansa at patuloy na di makabalik sa Pilipinas habang inaayos ng kanyang mga abogado ang  kasong isinampa sa kanya.  Sa isang eksklusibong panayam kay Bandera correspondent Eric Dimzon ay ikinuwento ni  Lim ang paghihirap na kanyang dinaranas dahil sa pagmamahal sa Philippine sports.

First of all, how are you?

Life is wonderful when you are free but miserable when you are forbidden to be with your family. I try to be physically fit for my return by playing basketball around the suburb. I also watch what I eat to stay healthy.

I still work persistently and communicate with all my constituents and friends not only in the Philippines but across the different continents. I relay business information and inform people of what has transpired in my life as a sportsman.

I do a lot of consultancy with different nationalities to keep me from being bored while living alone in a foreign country.

Why don’t you come home to the Philippines?

I have an arrest warrant issued by the Department of Justice. It is really difficult when you go up against rich and powerful personalities.

Don’t you miss your family in the Philippines?

Of course, I miss my family so much. It’s but natural for me to miss my family, being away for such a long time. I sometimes think that the people who have caused me so much pain are not human at all.

It is impossible for a human being to inflict so much pain to someone without any remorse or guilt at all. I wonder how these people can sleep soundly at night, knowing that they have inflicted so much pain to another person.

How’s your wife?
Definitely my wife is sad. My children too are affected. My wife is a devoted Catholic and always puts her faith to the Almighty God to look after us. It is really sad to know that there are people who try with all their might to destroy a decent life.

Worse, you see them in the news trying to be good samaritans by  helping those who were affected by the recent typhoon in Metro Manila.

These people  feel no shame when they portray themselves as caring individuals when the truth is, they have destroyed someone else’s life.

Who are these people?

Since 2000, many have tried to harass me because I refuse to give in to what they want. These people are still very much around. You will see them in social gatherings well dressed and well mannered.

These people continue to present themselves as the saviors of Philippine basketball.

By the way, ano nga pala ang dahilan bakit ka nabilanggo at bakit ito tumagal ng pitong buwan?

I spent seven months in Bicutan because they said I am an undesirable alien. They also said I am Taiwanese despite the fact that the Taiwan government has issued a statement that I am not.

It took me several months to get out of jail because I refused to make a call to a certain powerful individual. I would have not stayed in jail if I just made that call. But I could not force myself to do it.

Let’s talk about the present, what can you say about the return of the Philippines to the FIBA World?

Congratulations to Smart-Gilas for its successful campaign in the recent FIBA Asia.I am praying for the team’s success in the 2014 World Cup.

What can you say about the support of  Manny V. Pangilinan to Smart-Gilas and SBP?

Pangilinan has money. People come to him for that reason.

Despite the enormous backing for Gilas, the PH women’s basketball team still lacks support. What can you say about this?

I don’t know what the priority of SBP is. I am not sure why the women’s team is being treated like so.

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Looking back at everything, what lessons have you learned from it all?

I learned how important it is to be a man of honor, integrity, conscience and righteousness.

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