FROM where Games and Amusements Board (GAB) chairman Abraham Mitra stands, the UAAP is not inclined to do its own investigation on the bubble training done by the UST men’s basketball team in Casuy, Sorsogon.
As part of the Joint Administrative Order (JAO) Group that is conducting a hearing on the controversy hounding the Pontifical school, Mitra said the collegiate league appears to be leaning towards letting other bodies to decide the fate of the entire Tigers squad under coach Aldin Ayo.
The UAAP, according to Mitra, is citing the fact that UST is not training in preparation for the 2020 college season, but for a different tournament.
Besides, Season 83 won’t be held at least until January, so there’s no way UST is preparing for the UAAP at this early stage.
“And because of that, mukhang UAAP is saying that we cannot be the one to investigate them only because they’re not just training and not just participating in UAAP tournaments but they are also participating in other tournaments,” said the GAB chief.
“Ayaw ng UAAP kasi hindi lang naman sila ang tournament na pinaglalaruan (ng UST).”
Mitra mentioned about the Tigers actually preparing for a pre-season meet, though he refused to name the tournament.
The JAO Group will have a new round of meeting with UAAP officials including those from UST Tuesday afternoon, where the school will present the official findings of the internal probe it conducted on the so-called ‘Sorsogon Bubble.’
A representative of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) is also expected to attend the meeting.
Mitra said in the event the UAAP refused to touch the issue, it will be the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases) that’s going to sanction one of the original founders of the country’s premier collegiate league.
“So to answer the question kung sino ang in-charge sa pag-sanction sa UST, ang sagot diyan ay IATF,” said the GAB chairman.
However, the JAO Group composed of GAB, Department of Health (DoH), and the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), cannot impose a sanction since it is only a recommendatory body.
“Whatever ma-gather namin diyan, we will only forward it to the IATF. We’re just a study and recommendatory group,” Mitra clarified.
But should the IATF pass the bucket to the JAO Group, Mitra said the body will comply.
“If the IATF thinks we should be the one to sanction study it, ok lang sa amin,” he added.
Again, the group has repeteadly reminded the UAAP to police its own ranks, the same thing the PBA did when it sanctioned Blackwater for premature training.
“Ang gusto sana namin at paulit-ulit na sinasabi (sa UAAP) ay self-regulation katulad ng nangyari sa pro league,” Mitra pointed out.
Still, as part of the group that crafted the health protocols for use by pro leagues, Mitra is giving UST the benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise.
“Ngayon everybody is already assuming na nag-practice sila, nag-violate sila. Pero teka muna, tingnan natin ano bang ginawa nila? Nag-violate ba sila? Nag-practice ba sila?,” Mitra asked.
In the event UAAP tackles the issue and sanctions UST, the board has been split on the sentence it will impose on the 409-year-old learning institution, ranging from a stiff fine to as long as a two-year suspension.