Will the raging UAAP issue turn into a legal battle?
This question arose after University of Santo Tomas, one of the schools being accused of allegedly violating government health protocols, brought in two legal counsels in Tuesday afternoon’s meeting with the Joint Administrative Order (JAO) Group, UAAP and Commission on Higher Education (CHED).
UST legal counsel Atty. Alfonso Verzosa and legal coordinator Atty. Elgin Michael Perez represented the school in the said meeting that ran for over three hours.
While UST sent lawyers, National University, which is also in question for a similar government health protocol violation, sent its athletic director Otie Camangian.
“Why send lawyers when NU sent its athletic director?” an insider, who requested anonymity, asked.
Also present in the meeting were UAAP executive director Atty Rebo Saguisag and UAAP Season 83 president Nonong Calanog of La Salle.
For the government panel were CHED commissioner Prospero De Vera III, CHED executive director Atty. Cindy Jaro, Philippine Sports Commission national training director Marc Velasco, Games and Amusements Board chairman Baham Mitra and Department of Health representative Rodley Carza.
UST has been in hot water after its men’s basketball team coached by Aldin Ayo reportedly held a training bubble in Sorsogon.
Supposed training videos posted on social media to screenshots of the team’s alleged group chat containing sentiments of their training conditions went viral online over the past weeks.
NU’s volleyball team was also in question after photos of players allegedly training during quarantine also surfaced online.
UST formed a fact-finding committee to investigate the controversy, but only furnished copies of their findings to DOH and CHED “for confidentiality” according to a statement released by PSC and GAB.
“UST, through its lawyers, explained that it has created its own panel to conduct an internal investigation. UST, however, has not furnished GAB and PSC the result of said investigation in order to maintain confidentiality,” the statement read.
The UAAP will convene again today to review reports that were submitted to the government panel “and tackle other related cases before taking pertinent actions.”
The JAO Group also expects another meeting next week.