Varsity Sports Updates (Sportswriters notebook): OMG! Judge issues TRO on UAAP; 2-year residency rule on hold for young swimmer; Jerie Pingoy case not covered

Sept. 3, 2013

Tuesday

5:30 p.m.

Rizal Memorial Sports Complex

Vito Cruz,

Manila

Presiding judge Manuel Sta. Cruz Jr. has granted an temporary restraining order which will keep the University Athletic Association of the Philippines from applying its new residency and eligibility ruling on former junior swimming champion Anna Dominique “Mikee” Bartolome.

I received a text message from an aide of Sen. Pia Cayetano at around 5:30 p.m. this afternoon, and just as I was about to call it a day at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex’s POC-PSC media center.

I also alert Olmin Leyba, who is also on TRO watch just like me, and as we agreed earlier.

I was earlier advised not to go anymore to the sala of the judge because I may be wasting my time. The wait at the media center was helpful, indeed.

This is the initial information I got.

Legal counsel Apolinario Caymo II obtained a copy of the order  after Sta. Cruz heard the merits of the case during a hearing of the case at the  Quezon City Regional Trial Court last Monday.

The case is docketed under case no. R-QZN-13-02773.

This will give the 17-year old Mikee, a chance to be be included in the UP women’s varsity lineup when the UAAP eligibility committee holds its screening today.

Mike is a multi-titled swimmer at University of  Santo Tomas  when she was in high school, and  a now a sports science freshman at UP.

The UAAP board said in an earlier statement that it will respect the decision of the Mikee and her parents to take their case to court.

“Just like Jozhua General’s case (who also secured a TRO on his disqualification), the UAAP would be respecting the steps undertaken by the swimmer’s father and honor the orders of the court,” said the league in a statement. (more on the Joshua General case at  https://pektuscorner.wordpress.com/2013/08/17/varsity-sports-updates-uaap-junior-basketball-be-careful-with-my-heart-the-upis-junior-maroons-the-tro-and-joshua-general/)

UAAP legal counsel, Atty. Rene Ma. Villa is now the handling  the issue.

The camp of Mikee is also seeking  injunctions against UST and a writ of prohibitory injunction which will compel the UAAP from to refrain from further  implementing  the two-year residency ruling, and that it be declared null and void.

–         What’s in the order?

Sta. Cruz said in the order: “ it is already sad to note that an excellent athlete as the petitioner shall be denied the right to participate in competitions where she can full exercise her talent and bring honors and medals to her team just because of the two-year residency rule.”

“In this case, the urgency lies in the fact that the inclusion in the UP swimming team is only up to Sept. 4, 2013, and the petitioner will not be ineligible to join because of the two-year residency rule.”

The judge added that, “in order not to render the issues in this case moot and academic, the court grants the TRO as prayed for,for a period of 20 days.

Wherefore, all persons acting for and in behalf of the defendant UAAP are hereby ordered to cease and desist from imposing the 2-year residency rule, and allow the plaintiff to be eligible in the UP swimming lineup, so that she can join the swimming competitions on Sept. 19.

Another hearing on the issuance of a preliminary injunction to the UAAP and UST is scheduled on Sept. 11, 2013.

–         The week that was (pre-TRO days)

I was clueless when I went to the Blue Eagle gym in Katipunan Ave., Quezon City on Aug. 26, Saturday.

Little did I know that something was about to happen that evening.

I spent  an afternoon last Saturday watching the Ateneo Blue Eaglets score a 64-54 beating of the La Salle Zobel Junior Archers in the ongoing 76th University Athletic Association of the Philippines junior’s basketball tournament.

Before that, I had a word with National University coach Jeff Napa over their 63-40 victory over the Far Eastern University Baby Tamaraws(A blog article on the NU Bullpups latest exploits is still in the works).

After that, I huddle up with Mozzy Ravena and her son Thirdy for a series of one-on-interviews for a feature article I am planning to submit for this Sunday’s issue of MST(and also for another blog article), The article came out in http://manilastandardtoday.com/2013/09/01/the-ravena-family-all-in-all-sports/).

I learned a lot about the state of the junior basketball competitions following those interviews,  and was all set and focused to do my thing on the Ravena family for the week, and for a blog that I plan to write on the NU Bullpups.

Then, events started to turn around even more when I went over the SM Mall of Asia Arena to catch a the San Beda-Letran senior basketball match in the 89th National Collegiate Athletic Association men’s basketball tournament .

I received  an email message while I was watching the game, and it was only at around 9 p.m. when I was having crepes with my wife Angie at Café Breton that I was able to see it.

While savoring the hazel nuts and banana crepes that was prepared for me, this is what I read on my wife’s Ipad mini.

The staff of Sen. Pia Cayetano has sent out an alert to all scribes concerned on what they are planning to do this Wednesday.

My mind is now whirling because there is also a million people anti pork barrel march on Monday in Luneta.

And the timing for all this is quite interesting.

So, If this pushes through, the UAAP could find itself facing another court case.

According to her staff, Senator Pia Cayetano has asked her lawyers  to go to court today to contest the legality of the league’s new rule.

Friday came and this is that happens (https://pektuscorner.wordpress.com/2013/08/31/varsity-sports-updates-great-food-awesome-place-another-court-case-rocks-the-uaap).

–        What about the case of Jerie Pingoy?

The rule which requires high school players transferring from one member school to another to first undergo two years of residency has not yet touched Jerie Pingoy’s case.

There is no mention in the judge’s orders that his case is also included, and covered by the TRO, since his playing year in the UAAP is supposed to be 2013 if the ruling is scrapped.

But the judge’s orders could still affect his case in the future.

The email said the  lawyers are set to file the case before the Quezon City Regional Trial Court.

The latest legal actions  happened  five months after Cayetano conducted a Senate inquiry into the league’s new residency rule.

The league has already implemented  the ruling after Pingoy, the former Far Eastern University high school star  decided to transfer to Ateneo de Manila.

Now playing for Team B in the ongoing 11th Fr. Martin Division 2 Cup, Pingoy will have to wait whether he will sit it out  for the next two years before he can play for Team A in the UAAP.

Or, if he will be eligible next year.

Cayetano  said the ruling was unfair as it “curtails the freedom of young student-athletes to choose which college he or she wants to study in and play for.”

She added that “It denies them of their rights to develop their full potential and goes against the Constitutional mandate to promote sports.

The new UAAP rule is an unreasonable limit of an athlete’s freedom of choice and academic freedom to decide which college to enter into,” Cayetano added.

The league later made  amendments  to the ruling, and included  a clause, stating that there will be exemptions to the new ruling.

Under the amendment,  a transferee will be exempted from the residency requirement if he gets a release from his school.

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