Bartolomes take UAAP & UST to court
by rick olivares
The second shot against the UAAP’s controversial two-year residency rule has been fired.
Domingo “Vic” Bartolome filed on behalf of his daughter, Anna Dominque, currently 17 years old and a minor, a complaint with the application for a temporary restraining order and writ of preliminary prohibitory and mandatory injunction against UAAP and UST for it’s controversial two-year residency rule.
The complaint (Civil Case No. R-QZN-13-02773) was filed last Wednesday, August 28, at the Quezon City Regional Trial Court with the assistance of the officer of Senator Pia Cayetano who has been very vocal against the rule.
The complaint comes four months and 27 days after the initial senate hearing on the controversial rule (last April 1).
In that public hearing, I was invited by Sen. Cayetano as a resource speaker after she read my series of articles (titled ‘The Hypocrisy Rule’) that was published in both the Business Mirror, abs-cbnnews.com, and bleachersbrew.
It was during my talk where I introduced the Bartolomes who along with cager Jerie Pingoy was affected by the rule. Mikee Bartolome is a former UAAP Juniors MVP in Girls Swimming where she led UST to the championship. After graduation, she opted to move to UP where family has gone for college as a tradition.
However, because of the two-year residency rule that was a major upgrade from the previous one-year residency rule, Bartolome would not be able to compete immediately while losing her scholarship from UP.
After that hearing, there were a series of closed-door meetings that were held to come to a conclusion on the rule that prevents athletes from immediately playing for a college that is different from their high school.
The UAAP’s response was to institute a release mechanism wherein an athlete can immediately suit up if he or she is released by its mother school to another UAAP school.
When asked why it took them all this time to file the case, Mr. Bartolome said that he exhausted all the regular channels for UST to release his daughter but the university’s board representative, Fr. Emerito De Sagon, OFP, refused to sign the release papers.
With the UAAP swimming competition due to start in a few weeks, the Bartolomes made one last ditch effort to secure then release. When it was rebuffed the other week, they went back to Sen. Cayetano’s office to seek help in filing the injunction.
Incidentally, the Pingoys have opted not to join the filing of the injunction against the UAAP.
According to Sen. Cayetano, the injunction is not only to allow Mikee to suit up but to also seek the permanent repeal of the law.
This is the second time in less than a month that the UAAP has been served a Temporary Restraining Order by the courts. Last August 16, Judge Ma. Rita Bascos Sarabia ordered UP Junior Maroons basketball player Joshua General to be reinstated after the UAAP prevented him from suiting up after he exhausted the four-year playing years rule within five high school years. The TRO on the UAAP is for a 20-day period.
In the case of the Bartolomes, Sen. Cayetano said the complaint is to also issue a permanent injunction and declaration of nullity of the UAAP’s two-year residency rule. In the same vein, the Senator also believes the “release mechanism” is still unacceptable. “It is still robbing the youth of their freedom of choice.”
The complaint was submitted to the UAAP and to UST this afternoon.
A hearing has been set this coming Monday, September 2, at 2pm at Branch 226 of the QCRTC. According to Sen. Cayetano, a decision should be arrived at a day or two after the initial hearing.
The Bartolomes hope to make the cut for the UAAP’s player eligibility meeting set for September 4. “UP is going for a five-peat in swimming,” said Mikee Bartolome. “I would like to be a part of the school’s drive to make history.”
Attempts to get a statement or a reaction from UAAP representatives proved ineffective as they have not yet read the complaint.
My other pieces on the Two-Year Residency Rule:
This is where I did my research on the students moving from high school to college.
The hypocrisy of the rule and how some schools take rejection from their own athletes.
This is my report to the Senate where I introduced the Bartolomes and their plight.