MANILA, Philippines -- The Office of the Governor of Sorsogon on Wednesday announced that it has found former University of Santo Tomas (UST) head coach Aldin Ayo "not liable" for any violation of health protocols, in relation to the "bubble" held in his hometown of Capuy.
A memorandum acquired by The Varsitarian and signed by Sorsogon Gov. Francis "Chiz" Escudero said that the activities done by Ayo were "legitimate."
"The actions performed by Ayo is in accordance with the health protocols and guidelines (of the IATF), and that there was no UST-sanctioned team basketball training conducted in the domicile of Mr. Aldin V. Ayo," the memorandum stated.
There were also no prohibited basketball activities conducted by his guests -- the UST players -- outside of Ayo's residence, the memorandum noted.
According to The Varsitarian, Sorsogon City police also found Ayo "not liable" for any violation of health protocols imposed by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF), and the individuals in the group -- including the players -- had secured the proper documents required before traveling to Sorsogon.
The individuals also went through a 14-day home quarantine before proceeding with "personal development farm training," which was certified by the barangay captain of Capuy as per The Varsitarian.
The incident report of Sorsogon PNP noted that the city government issued a certificate of acceptance for the players on June 26 and July 22, and that their activities in the "bubble" were focused on "agricultural activities," as opposed to basketball training.
Ayo resigned from his post as UST head coach in the wake of the Sorsogon bubble controversy, where the Growling Tigers were alleged to have trained in Capuy since June. The UAAP has also given him an indefinite ban.
The controversy has caused the promising UST men's basketball program to collapse, with the departure of erstwhile team captain CJ Cansino not only bursting the bubble but starting the exodus of players from the team.
Season 82 Rookie of the Year Mark Nonoy, high-flying swingman Rhenz Abando, veteran Brent Paraiso, and top high school recruit Bismarck Lina has since left the school and transferred to other universities.