CHED to conduct own investigation on UST, NU illegal training sessions

Sep 7, 2020

THE Commission on Higher Education (CHED) will continue to look at the probable negligence of both University of Santo Tomas and National University even after the end of the probe conducted by the Joint Administrative Order on the resumption of sports and physical activities.

Commissioner Prospero de Vera said that the show-cause orders handed to both schools are part of the due process as officials from both universities will be asked to explain their sides to prove if there really was no knowledge on the administrations' part on the trainings done by their respective student-athletes.

"The show-cause orders is for violations of CHED advisories," he said during the online press conference on Monday afternoon.

"That's part of the due process. We want to look deeper into it and ask the universities to explain."

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De Vera said that CHED issued two advisories since the start of the lockdown prohibiting higher education institutions (HEIs) to actively send their students back home.

First was CHED COVID-19 Advisory no. 5 issued back in March 17 which states, "HEIs in the entire Luzon region should immediately advise its students, faculty, and staff who will be affected by the enhanced community quarantine to arrange for immediate departure to their hometowns."

Furthermore, the advisory stated: "HEIs in the entire Luzon region should immediately advise its students, faculty, and staff who will be affected by the enhanced community quarantine to arrange for immediate departure to their hometowns."

The second was CHED COVID-19 Advisory no. 7 issued in May 24 which read, "Mass gatherings are prohibited. HEIs are prevented from conducting in-person graduation ceremonies and other school activities until the prohibition for mass gathering is lifted."

De Vera said that the commission is ready to hear both UST and NU's sides on the matter.

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"That's why we're issuing show-cause orders, for schools to explain why they should not be sanctioned and why they should not be acted upon by any commission," he said.

CHED's investigation is separate from the ones to be conducted by the Department of Justice (DOJ), which will look at the possible violations done against the guidelines set by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for Emerging Infectious Diseases, and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), which will focus if there are any offenses commited on the level of the local government units (LGUs) involved.

"That's the delineation. The CHED advisories of course is based on the IATF resolutions. It has the legal backing of the decisions of the IATF as approved by the president," said De Vera.

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    As of now, the good commissioner does not want to speculate on what sanctions might fall on the shoulders of both UST and NU as he wants to hear their cases first before issuing a verdict.

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    "We cannot determine penalties if violations are indeed done," he saod. "It's premature now to say that CHED will punish UST or penalties will await UST. We'll read their response to the show-cause order."
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