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CHED: Safety of students is topmost concern

/ 09:25 PM August 26, 2020
UST Growling Tigers UAAP Season 82

FILE – UST Growling Tigers during the UAAP Season 82. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) is the latest government agency to chime in on the welfare of students as the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Disease’ tripartite body on sports awaits University of Santo Tomas’ official report into its own team’s supposed breach of quarantine protocols in Sorsogon City.

“The safety of students is the topmost concern,” said chair Prospero de Vera in a statement, shortly after the virtual meeting of the IATF group consisting Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), Department of Health (DOH), and the Games and Amusements Board (GAB) on Wednesday afternoon.

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University Athletics Association of the Philippines (UAAP), which was represented by its executive director Rebo Saguisag and president Nonong Calano, said they expect UST’s findings no later than Friday.

The Inquirer learned that UST’s investigative committee is set to submit its findings to Fr. Herminio Dagohoy, the school’s rector.

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The PSC, which oversees amateur sports under the IATF’s Joint Administrative Order, said it has also formally requested the UAAP look into the case of National University, whose women’s volleyball team reportedly trained in Laguna province despite in the thick of community quarantine guidelines.

GAB chairman Baham Mitra said representatives from both schools are expected to join the group when it reconvenes Tuesday next week.

The hours leading up to the meeting were just as eventful, with Fr. Jannel Abogado, UST’s athletic director, stepping down from his post.

Abogado, who is largely responsible for the recruitment of head coach Aldin Ayo, was replaced by his predecessor, Fr. Ermito de Sagon.

De Sagon, who held the post for 16 years, figured prominently in the UAAP’s investigation into La Salle’s eligibility mess that ultimately led to the schools’ suspension across all Season 69 events, and the forfeiture of the Green Archers’ basketball title in Season 67.

La Salle formally accepted hosting duties for the next UAAP season last July.

CJ Cansino, in yet another stunning turn of events, later shared on Twitter excerpts of an online chat that paints a grim picture of the conditions members of the Growling Tigers had to endure in Sorsogon.

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The screenshots show Bismarck Lina, Ira Bataller and Brent Paraiso attesting to Cansino’s claim that they have been served with meals that were “oily” and “full of pork.”

Cansino also said one of his teammates have become sick. An Inquirer source earlier mentioned such incidence but a report on Wednesday revealed Bataller had suffered from abdominal problems.

Abando also said he had been stressed and that they were left to fend for themselves whenever they became sick.

Tournament Most Valuable Player Soulemane Chabi Yo admitted to having been homesick, and that he had become uncomfortable.

“Here, we just eat what they cook even if we don’t like that food. Me, I’m trying to adjust but it’s difficult,” the Benin national said.

“Homesick, very bored here, poor signal, different routine from what [we are used] to. Not comfortable in my body, and not happy [with] all this.”

UST’s former skipper, whose shock exit last week brought to light the training in question, has since deleted the tweet.

Eya Laure and Ysa Jimenez, members of the Golden Tigresses both shared tweets paying tribute to Abogado.

“Father J is one of the reasons why (my sister EJ and I) are in UST,” Laure wrote.

“*Why (my sister and I) stayed at UST,” she went on to add.

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TAGS: Basketball, bubble, CHED, IATF, Sorsogon, Training, UAAP, UST Growling Tigers
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