The Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) on Thursday said it wants University of Santo Tomas (UST) officials held accountable for forming a training “bubble” in Sorsogon where its men’s basketball team had participated in basketball practice in the past months amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Ang aming concern ay pag-violate ng IATF regulations doon sa dahil mga bata ito at age group-wise ay hindi sila dapat lumalabas ng bahay, at iyong advisories na inisyu namin simula Marso, malinaw doon na nakabatay din sa IATF decisions na ang dapat siguruhin ng mga pamantasan ay ligtas ang kanilang mga estudyante at kung maaari ay sila ay nasa bahay,” CHEd Chairman Prospero de Vera III said in a Malacañang briefing.
However, the commission will wait for the results of UST’s internal probe before determining whom to sanction.
“Kaya hihintayin namin ang report ng UST at titingnan namin sa imbestigasyon ng UST, sino ba ang nag-authorize nito. Ito ba ay sanction ng pamantasan? Ito ba ay ginawa ng isang opisyal ng pamantasan? Ito ba ay ginawa nang walang pahintulot ang pamantasan? Iyan ang mga unang kailangang tingnan,” de Vera explained.
De Vera said the commission would also be ready to impose penal sanctions should it find UST accountable for violating the Education Act of 1982 due to the alleged training bubble.
The coaching staff of UST’s men’s basketball team has remained mum since the existence of the bubble was exposed.
The university’s athletics director on Wednesday stepped down amid the ongoing investigations.
The Philippine Sports Commission earlier said that UST was finalizing its internal investigation and the UAAP expected to receive the final report on Friday, Aug. 28. John Ezekiel J. Hirro