An Oath of Allegiance : The UAAP Swimming Championship Brouhaha

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UAAP2013“With great pride and honor, I will accept this scholarship program, and will represent, head’s up, Kots Isko University during my entire stay at this school. I promise to train hard to make my university proud of me; and I submit myself to all the rules and regulations of championship”.

Excluding the residency rule?

FACT: When a swimmer accepts the scholarship program offered by a UAAP member school, that swimmer has automatically agreed to all the rules and regulations of the championship; including the controversial residency rule.

If the swimmer felt that his right has been violated by the residency rule, he has every right to question the rule during his stay with the university. But, if the swimmer has not questioned that rule during his first year high school, up until he graduated; and then decided to enroll to another university for his college education, that swimmer has no business questioning the residency!

Crying for human rights violation NOW because the residency rule has affected your swimming career, is plain HYPOCRICY!

The swimmer had the chance to question that rule during his 1st year, 2nd year, 3rd year, and 4th year in high school; but did nothing. Why? Because the residency rule did not affect his swimming career yet at that time. Now that he has decided to enroll to another university, and the residency rule is giving him problems with his swimming career, he now cries human rights violation!

EXCUSE ME? Your right has long been violated the moment you accepted the scholarship; so why cry only now?

But Mikee Bartolome’s case is different.

When she accepted the scholarship program offered by UST in her high school years, the residency rule was only 1 year for a high school graduate transferring to another university for college education.

When she entered UP this year, the rule was changed to 2 years! Whew!!!!

Two years residency is too long! Gawd! It’s already half of your stay in the university if you are taking a 4-year degree course!

So the Bartolome’s decided to question the new rule, and brought this to court.

When the championship came, Mikee Bartolome has secured a TRO.

With this turn of event, the UAAP board pointed out that the TRO is only for the new 2-year residency rule; therefore the old 1-year residency rule should be made as reference while the 2 year residency rule is in question in court. Thus, she should still not be allowed to swim!

Because of fear of being held in contempt by the court, the swimming director and commissioner gave the green light amid the instruction of the UAAP board not to let Mikee compete.

Then came the boycott! (will discuss this issue in part 2)

THIS ISSUE IS ACTUALLY VERY VERY SIMPLE!

If the issued TRO is indeed only for the new 2-year residency rule, upon the pendency of the TRO, the status quo ante should be followed. Meaning, the status quo prior to the questioned ruling will be followed, that is the 1 year residency rule. Therefore, by Philippine Law, Mikee Bartolome should not be allowed to swim. (Take note, it’s not according to UAAP Rules; it is according to Philippine LAW!).

But if the issued TRO is for both the new and old rules, then it is a must to uphold the court order, and let Mikee Bartolome swim.

Very simple, right?

I was told yesterday that the issued TRO is for both the new and old rules; therefore, IT WAS JUST RIGHT TO LET Mikee Bartolome swim.

But considering that the court has not actually passed their final judgement on this residency rule issue; out of respect, and for camaraderie sake; it would have been better for Mikee Bartolome to stay on bench for a year; the very rule that she had agreed to follow when she made an oath of allegiance to University of Santo Tomas in her high school years.

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