SWIMMER Anna Dominique Bartolome has gone to court to seek a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) and, hopefully, a permanent injunction on the new UAAP residency rule for transferees.
Bartolome, represented by her father Vic Bartolome, filed the case at the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 226 in the hope of clearing the way for her inclusion in the University of the Philippines swimming team this season after her transfer from University of Santo Tomas.
The plaintiff also wants the court to compel UST to issue a release and is also seeking a permanent injunction declaring the nullity of the new UAAP rule that requires high school graduates transferring from one member school to another to undergo a two-year residency.
The league and UST have been named the co-defendants in the case, the second to hit the league this month following the TRO issued on the board's decision to rule UPIS player Jozhua General ineligible this season.
The Bartolome camp hopes the court can issue a TRO before September 4, the final day of submission of the lineup, so the 17-year old swimmer can compete in the UAAP swimming competitions on September 19 to 21.
A hearing has been set on Monday.
In a press conference held at Adarna Restaurant in Quezon City, the elder Bartolome said he had no choice but to file a case as they have exhausted all efforts to get a release from UST.
The father bared that he had even personally asked UST’s representative to the UAAP, Fr. Ermito de Sagun, as late as last week for his daughter's release.
“Bilang isang father, wala naman akong gustong mangyari kundi ma-fulfill ang dream ng anak ko, not just ‘yung education but ‘yung hilig niya katulad ng swimming,” said Vic Bartolome, the plaintiff in the case since Anna Dominique is still a minor.
The younger Bartolome said that it has been her dream to compete for UP.
“I’ve been competing sa UAAP for four years. Alam ko ‘yung feeling, ‘yung prestige ng UAAP competition,” said Bartolome.
Senator Pia Cayetano attended the press conference but clarified that she is not directly involved in the case, as she is only helping the Bartolomes.
Cayetano, a staunch critic of the new rule, said she fully supports the Bartolomes' move.
“I’m here to make good on my promise. Labag sa karapatang pantao ang rule. It violates the academic freedom to choose, live the life you want to live, and choose the school they want,” said Cayetano.
“I have made private consultations with the UAAP board and they said that they will look into it. Ang kinalabasan is the high school coaches will release most of the athletes. Hindi po puwede ‘yung ‘most.’ Dapat all,” Cayetano said.
Bartolome, a former PBA referee and currently part of the staff of the UP men’s basketball team, said they haven’t consulted other parties affected by the rule, particularly Jerie Pingoy whose transfer from Far Eastern University's high school to Ateneo led to the rule change.