This was how a UAAP coach squad described the controversy hounding University of Santo Tomas, saying the Growling Tigers breached the government’s stringent health protocols when the players, mostly below 21 years old, traveled 518 kilometers from Manila to the hometown of coach Aldin Ayo in Capuy, Sorsogon City and allegedly held a bubble training since mid-June.
“I think they are already guilty in terms of health protocols,” the coach, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Malaya-Business Insight yesterday.
The coach added authorities should crack the whip on erring parties.
“There’s should be a sanction. You think the school didn’t know about that trip? You don’t have to be a health expert to figure it out na this year, definitely ay walang UAAP, so why practice?” the coach said.
He said UST failed to heed the country-wide “stay at home” order of the government to stem the spread of the deadly pulmonary disease caused by the new coronavirus (COVID-19).
Metro Manila and most parts of the country have been placed under the less strict general community quarantine as of yesterday but senior citizens and those below 21 years old are still not allowed to go outside their homes, unless it is necessary.
“Remember, La Salle got suspended (in 2006) because of a document. This one is a national health issue, a violation of national guidelines. We went through MECQ to avoid interaction, even now under GCQ, you are not supposed to leave your house if you are under 21,” explained the coach.
“Workers have to present their IDs to verify what is the nature of their work and if it’s part of the GCQ guidelines. Alam ko even the CHED ay galit, kaya nga online ang classes to avoid contact.”
Under section 4 of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases guidelines for areas under GCQ, classes are still suspended, students are prohibited from entering school premises as well as “conduction of curricular and co-curricular activities involving gatherings such as science fairs, showcase of portfolios, trade fairs, school sports, campus journalism, festival of talents, job fairs, and other similar activities, except those conducted online.”
Under the joint administrative order from the GAB, DOH, and PSC, only pro league teams from the PBA, Philippines Football League, and Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3, pro boxers, and Olympic qualifiers and hopefuls can resume training.
UST’s fact-finding committee wrapped up its internal probe and submitted its findings to the UAAP last Friday.
The IATF, through a panel made up of the Games and Amusements Board, Department of Health, Philippine Sports Commission, and Commission on Higher Education reconvenes with UST and UAAP officials anew today to discuss the outcome of the probe and possibly decide on the fate of UST.
Also under scrutiny are National University officials who are expected to be part of the meeting to clear the air on the reported workouts by their women’s volleyball team at their Sampaloc and Laguna campuses.
The UAAP Board held a meeting last Friday and tackled the findings of UST’s inquiry.
Amid allegations of violating the IATF’s guidelines, UST Institute of Physical Education and Athletics (IPEA) director Fr. Jannel Abogado, OP, resigned last Tuesday and was replaced by Fr. Ermito de Sagon.
The Tigers’ bubble was popped after former captain CJ Cansino said he was booted out of the team due to “defiance of authority.”
The 6-foot-2 Cansino, who moved to University of the Philippines, asked Ayo if he and his teammates could return to Manila but that led to a disagreement and his stunning exit from the squad that created a firestorm in the collegiate ranks.
Ayo, who is still tightlipped on the Sorsogon bubble, and his players reportedly returned to Manila last Wednesday.
Last Friday, it was reported that part of the P3 million budget earmarked for the Sorsogon bubble was allegedly used to upgrade the ABC (Ayo Basketball Camp) Ideas Gym, reportedly owned by Ayo.
Photos and videos that were deleted showed UST players playing allegedly at the ABC Gym.
A damning copy of a waiver that the players and their parents or legal guardians signed to be able to join the training camp has also surfaced online.