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Sorsogon City PNP, provincial LGU clear Aldin Ayo

Aldin Ayo has been cleared by the Sorsogon City police from allegations of a UST training bubble. Nikki Collantes (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--In a very interesting development regarding the still talked about alleged bubble drama involving the University of Santo Tomas men's basketball team, the Philippine National Police's Sorsogon City station and the provincial government of Sorsogon cleared Aldin Ayo from possible breaches of quarantine protocols amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

"In view of the foregoing, all factual and legal issues considered, this office finds Mr. Aldin Valladolid Ayo not liable for violation of any health protocol pursuant to the IATF-EID guidelines and local executive order in the province of Sorsogon during the arrival and stay of the above individual in the city of Sorsogon," the Sorsogon City PNP said in a police report dated Sept. 23, which surfaced exactly a week later on Wednesday night.

Sorsogon governor Chiz Escudero affirmed the Sorsogon City PNP's ruling in a certification made on Monday, saying, "The Office of the Governor is in consonance with the memorandum's findings."

The city police, according to its investigation, found out that what the Growling Tigers did in Ayo's home in Barangay Capuy was not basketball related at all.

"Evidence shows that Mr. Aldin V. Ayo's guests stayed at his residence and had farm training in his piggery and farm," the police report continued.

Agricultural activities like farming are classified as a Category 1 industry, which is allowed regardless of what kind of community quarantine the area is in.

The police report also debunked CJ Cansino's claim that UST conducted team practices in Sorsogon City.

"While not engaged in farm work and training while waiting for the harvest time of palay at [Ayo's] riceland, the players were allowed to make use of a basketball court which is enclosed inside the living room of his house where the players had individual training," the Sorsogon City PNP further said.

The police added that because the "individual training" took place inside Ayo's home, which is an exception to the joint administrative order on sports practices amid the pandemic, he is deemed not liable for such act.

The alleged bubble sparked a series of events that led to the breakup of the Growling Tigers' promising core that made the UAAP finals last year.

Cansino transferred to University of the Philippines along with supposed UST commit Bismarck Lina.

Rhenz Abando, Ira Bataller, and Brent Paraiso jumped to Letran, Jun Asuncion, who showed promise in his brief stint in the PBA D-League, moved to Mapua, and Mark Nonoy and Deo Cuajao joined La Salle.

Ayo resigned as UST coach, but the UAAP slapped him with an indefinite ban from coaching.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno_

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