Chairman Ramirez: 'We got the video practice of UST in Sorsogon, violating medical protocol'
Philippine Sports Commission chairman Butch Ramirez said Saturday that the University of Santo Tomas men’s basketball team appears to have violated Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) guidelines when it went into a training bubble in Sorsogon during the coronavirus pandemic.
Ramirez said they have video footage showing the Tigers practicing in the Bicol province, a clear violation of the protocols set under the Joint Administrative Order (JAO) signed by the Department of Health, the PSC and the Games and Amusements Board.
“Yes. We got the video practice of UST in Sorsogon, violating the medical protocol,” Ramirez told Manila Bulletin.
Under JAO, only professional leagues in basketball, 3-on-3 basketball, football and boxing are allowed to resume training under General Community Quarantine in conformity with the provisions of the said order and other GAB requirements.
Though UAAP is a private entity, the PSC can have a say on the issue because it represents non-pro sports in the JAO signing.
Ramirez said his team is meeting with UAAP officials today (Saturday) to dig deeper into the issue.
Photos and videos showing the UST Tigers practicing in Sorsogon leaked on social media on Friday but were later taken down. But PSC was able to obtain a copy of one of the videos.
Manila Bulletin tried to reach out to UAAP Executive Director Rebo Saguisag but he has yet to reply.
The same day that UST's video scrimmages came out on social media, CJ Cansino announced his departure from the Tigers and said he was removed from the squad.
As of this posting, UST remains mum on both the issue of the training bubble and Cansino's departure.
Meanwhile, GAB chairman Baham Mitra said they are trying to reach Saguisag for contact information of UST officials to invite them to the Zoom meeting.
“Just to inquire what they are doing there,” he said.
Although it does not fall in GAB's jurisdiction, Mitra said they are asked to align sports programs with the PSC and the DOH under JAO.