IATF taps CHED on UST ‘bubble’ issue

The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) has tapped the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to take part in the ongoing investigation of the UST Growling Tigers’ alleged “bubble” practices in Capuy, Sorsogon.

“Safety of our students is the topmost concern,” said CHED Chairman Prospero de Vera III in a statement released by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) following a virtual meeting on Wednesday, August 26.

The alleged training camp, which violates the government’s community quarantine rules, came to light after former UST team captain CJ Cansino parted ways with the Growling Tigers. 

The UAAP, represented by executive director Atty. Rebo Saguisag and Season 83 president Nonong Calanog, said UST is “now finalizing” its internal investigation, which will be submitted to the league before Friday, August 28.

During the meeting, the league was also requested to seek clarification from another member-university – reportedly the National University – whose volleyball players allegedly trained as well, despite government-issued restrictions.

"We have reminded our members regarding the proper conduct of sports activities at this time," Saguisag said in a UAAP statement. "Related to this, [UST] has announced that it has created a committee to investigate reports that may run contrary to government regulations."

Cansino had disclosed the poor conditions in the UST training camp, posting screenshots of Facebook messages that reveal what he and his ex-teammates went through during their alleged stay in Sorsogon.

Embattled UST head coach Aldin Ayo had declined to comment on the issues hounding his team, but promised his full cooperation on the government-mandated investigation.

CHED reminded universities and colleges to follow the applicable guidelines in the Joint Administrative Order (JAO) on the conduct of physical activities and sports issued by the PSC, Games and Amusements Board (GAB), and Department of Health (DOH).

“The PSC will always push to uphold the issuances regarding sports and physical activity and we are happy that CHED is a steady partner when it comes to sports in universities and colleges,” said PSC national training director Marc Velasco.

Also in the meeting were GAB chairman Abraham Mitra, CHED executive directory Atty. Cindy Jaro, and DOH section head of policy and technology Rodley Carza.

ThE IATF-created collaborative body will reconvene on Tuesday, September 1, after the UAAP receives UST's final report on Friday, August 28.  – Rappler.com