Why offload Team Rave? Senator wants BI, POEA to explain

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Benigno Aquino IV has asked the Bureau of Immigration (BI) and the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) to explain why they kept 3 members of Team Rave – an e-sports team – from leaving for South Korea to train and join international competitions.

Team Rave's Mark "Cast" Pilar, Djardel "Chrissy" Mampusti, and Ryo "ryOyr" Hasegawa were barred from flying to Seoul due to an alleged lack of proper travel documents.

 Aquino, however, pointed out that the reason given by the immigration and overseas employment agencies were unusual.

"They have traveled several times to South Korea using the same documents they presented in the past without any hitch. Suddenly, they were barred from leaving without any valid reason," he said in a statement Monday, April 6.

"Worse, the offloading happened during a crucial time where they were scheduled to train for several big international competitions," the senator said.

According to Aquino, the offloading of Team Rave also kept them from additional chances to join further tournaments in Bucharest.

Team Rave was earlier in the news for earning 6th place in the DOTA 2 Asian Championships, taking home $150,000 for their hard work.

Senator Aquino remined the agencies of government's role in fostering athletes: "Government should be able to provide an environment where our athletes, online or offline, will be able to hone their skills, compete in world class competitions, and give honor and pride to our country."

Aquino, whose office had helped Team Rave in the past, added: "We will continue helping them in any way we can because we believe in their potential in bringing honor to our country." – Rappler.com

Victor Barreiro Jr.

Victor Barreiro Jr is part of Rappler's Central Desk. An avid patron of role-playing games and science fiction and fantasy shows, he also yearns to do good in the world, and hopes his work with Rappler helps to increase the good that's out there.