Framers of the Joint Administrative Order that outlines the country’s protocols for sports and wellness during the pandemic said they are set to elevate University of Santo Tomas’ (UST) case to the Department of Justice (DOJ) this Monday.
But as it is turning out, the DOJ may extend its probe outside UST.
Aldin Ayo released a statement on Friday through the Varsitarian, UST’s official organ, saying he has resigned, which confirmed an earlier Inquirer report based on a source closely monitoring the controversy.
“I deeply apologize to all those who have been adversely affected by our activity and unnecessarily exposed to much condemnation, especially the University,” Ayo said in his statement.
“I take responsibility for my actions and shall face the appropriate sanctions,” Ayo said.
He may have to answer to a higher government power with the DOJ drawn into the probe on UST’s alleged violation of health protocols.
Games and Amusements Board (GAB) chair Baham Mitra said the government probers will forward their findings to the DOJ because they lack the police powers to act on UST’s alleged violation.
“They are the proper agency to investigate, as we’re only here for guidance,” said Mitra. “[Also,] it’s the only legal way. As we’re only responsible for policy. We don’t have legal personality to [mete] sanctions.”
The group, which consists of the GAB, the Department of Health and the Philippine Sports Commission, met virtually with the Commission on Higher Education on Friday discussing the school’s official report from its internal probe on the Tigers’ training camp in Sorsogon City.
Ayo’s resignation throws a monkey wrench into plans by the UAAP to sanction him for the “bubble” training, rousing fears in the school that its program will be left to shoulder the penalties of the Tigers’ unauthorized training.
“I hope other athletes speak up so that the innocent will be spared,” said national coach Manny Calipes, who runs UST’s vaunted athletics program that produced the likes of Olympian EJ Obiena.
The Tigers have already been hit by player departures. CJ Cansino was first to leave, with his transfer to UP exposing the Sorsogon training.
Sources told the Inquirer on Friday that Ira Bataller and Brent Paraiso have already enrolled in Letran. Talented wingman Rhenz Abando was supposed to join them, but deferred making a decision following lucrative offers from two moneyed schools.
Abando is reportedly mulling a “multimillion offer” from a powerhouse program, while another school has also offered cash and employment opportunities for his relatives.