RIGHT in the midst of an investigation on the alleged training bubble held in Sorsogon by the University of Santo Tomas (UST) men’s basketball team, the school’s athletic director, Fr. Jannel Abogado, O.P., stepped down from his post.
In a report by The Varsitarian, the official publication of UST, on Wednesday, it was said Mr. Abogado had submitted his resignation as head of the Institute of Physical Education and Athletics (IPEA) and was accepted by school administration.
Mr. Abogado was at the helm of the institute beginning 2017 and will be replaced by Fr. Ermito de Sagon, O.P., who was UST’s athletic director in the past, holding the post for 16 years.
The resignation of Mr. Abogado came amid ongoing investigation on the alleged training bubble of the Growling Tigers in Capuy, Sorsogon, hometown of coach Aldin Ayo, beginning in June when most of the country was still under stricter quarantine setup.
Mr. Abogado was brought to the fore when a supposed waiver, asking parents of the athletes to allow their children to join the training, bearing his name circulated on social media.
The alleged training bubble, if proven to be true, was in direct violation of government health and safety protocols put out as mitigating measures against the spread of the coronavirus.
As per existing regulations, sports activities, including training, are widely prohibited at this point of the pandemic.
The supposed UST bubble was brought to light as news of former captain CJ Cansino being cut from the team following a disagreement with coach Aldin Ayo in Sorsogon came out last week.
Cansino has since moved on, hooking up with the University of the Philippines while Mr. Ayo has not said much on the issue.
Meanwhile, later on Wednesday, UST officials were set to meet University Athletic Association of the Philippines executives and members of the body created by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases to look into the matter.
In the meeting, UST is expected to present the status of its internal investigation from which the UAAP management and government authorities will base their decision from before handing out possible penalties.— Michael Angelo S. Murillo