LOOK: UAAP's TRO phenomenon can be stopped
MANILA, Philippines – After spending two straight seasons handling athletes' temporary restraining orders (TRO) against the UAAP, executive director Rebo Saguisag has finally found a way to put a stop to the phenomenon.
In the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) Sports Law 101 seminar, Saguisag raised the concern to sports lawyer Mickey Ingles during the Q&A portion for a practical solution to stop athletes from filing TROs.
Ingles suggested the UAAP to follow the charter of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) where the Olympic body settles disputes through the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
"If you look at the IOC charter, it says that disputes have to be governed by CAS, so if you join a competition, you abide by that charter," explained Ingles.
"So maybe the UAAP can have that in their charter as well that if anyone who joins a member school, the players are bound by this arbitration clause."
With this solution, the regional trial court (RTC) where the TRO was filed at will have to respect the arbitration clause of the league and will not consider a petition for a TRO.
Saguisag's first encounter with a TRO during his time as commissioner was when the UAAP ruled National University's Matthew Aquino – the son of PBA legend Marlou Aquino – ineligible for not completing a full year of residency after transferring from Adamson University.
After missing the first two games of Season 79, the Bulldogs' big man obtained a TRO from the Pasig RTC in order to suit up against the De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Archers.
Saguisag's most recent case was when University of the Philippines' Rob Ricafort obtained a TRO from the Manila RTC Branch 19 after the UAAP denied him from playing his only year in the league for the Fighting Maroons.
Ricafort was considered to be overaged as he turned 25 years old in December 2017, which was still within the UAAP season even though basketball season was over.
"So what happens is that we can call out the member schools, but the problem is, they wash their hands off the matter and it’s the player who files the case. Of course you cannot stop them to seek [TROs] in the courts," explained Saguisag to the audience at the Meralco mini theater.
With Ingles' advice, Saguisag hopes the league won't be dealing with any more legal matters in future seasons. – Rappler.com