Years after being tossed in jail thanks to a perfect golf shot, Anthony Suntay’s name has finally been cleared.
The estafa case against him filed by a certain Jessa Gumanoy was thrown out of a Cavite court last January 18.
“The complaint for Estafa against Anthony Suntay is recommended to be dismissed for lack of probable cause,” reads the resolution from Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Hilario Dumaual.
The entire story of Suntay’s ordeal is almost tragicomic in nature and begins in March of 2012, when the veteran commentator agreed to help host a charity golf tournament for cancer-stricken children in the Manila Southwoods Legends course.
A Mistubishi ASX was a hole-in-one prize at the tournament, and Gumanoy achieved the feat from 120 yards out on one hole.
However, the agreement between the tournament organizers and the insurance company of Diamond Motors, who supplied the vehicle, was that the tees were to be set back to at least 180 yards to make the chances of the shot more difficult, a common practice in tournaments.
Gumanoy got her ace from 120 yards out from the ladies tee. According to Suntay the two men’s tees had been pushed back to the prescribed distance, but not the ladies tee.
Because of this, the car could not be released to Mrs. Gumanoy.
Apparently the course superintendent was at fault for not moving all three tee markers, and was reportedly in tears after the incident. The employee reportedly ended his tenure with the club soon after.
PLDT, one of the major sponsors of the tournament, offered a TV to Ms. Gumanoy which she reportedly received from a messenger, but in issuing the receipt noted that she was not giving up her claim on the car.
Suntay, Gumanoy, the tournament organizers, and the lawyers of Gumanoy and the organizers met amicably a month after the tournament in a meeting arranged by Suntay, but apparently no resolution was made.
Flash-forward to November 2015 when Suntay was hosting another golf tournament in Eagle Ridge, in General Trias, Cavite. Gumanoy was present, and, apparently, with an arrest warrant, she had Suntay arrested by the police of nearby Trece Martires. Suntay had to spend two nights in the Trece Martires police station before being released after posting bail.
Apparently Gumanoy had procured a summons to have him appear at a fiscal’s office for the case, but the summons was sent to a business address that Suntay had not been connected to for some time, and not his real address. Since he was not replying to the summons, Suntay appeared to be in contempt, thus the arrest.
“Had I been given a proper summons it wouldn’t have come to this,” says Suntay.
Because of the case, Suntay was suspended by his employer, TV5 and thus was unable to call PBA, UFL, and PSL matches. The suspension was eventually lifted after two months and he continues to work for TV5.
“I was literally not earning anything for two months,” revealed Suntay, who has two children.
Eventually the case was heard in the fiscal’s office, both sides were able to present their case, and that led to its eventual dismissal, although there will still be a presentation of the fiscal’s report to Judge Eduardo Tanguangco of the Bacoor Regional Trial Court on March 8.
Suntay says that the whole ordeal smacks of “pure harassment” and he is glad it’s finally over.