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Fake News! DOJ’s Guevarra Denies Ordering CHED to File Charges vs Ayo

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Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo Guevarra denied asking the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to file a complaint against former University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers head coach Aldin Ayo regarding the controversial “Sorsogon Bubble.”

In a statement on Thursday, Guevarra said the DOJ sent back the Joint Agreement Order (JAO) report to the CHED and advised the latter that if any interested party wants to press criminal charges, the report should be converted into a complaint that complies with the DOJ requirements for preliminary investigation; i.e., complaint under oath, supporting affidavits of witnesses.

He added that the DOJ will not conduct a preliminary investigation on the controversial training camp as no complaint has been formally filed.

“We return the report on the incident to the CHEd so that people interested in pressing charges may bring it to the DoJ in the form of a sworn complaint sufficient to trigger a preliminary investigation,” Guevarra said.

“As far as I know, no sworn complaint in a proper forum that requires preliminary investigation has been received by the DoJ,” he added.

The DOJ head made the clarification after it was reported in Business Mirror on Wednesday that he asked the CHED to file a formal complaint to jumpstart investigations on the infamous Sorsogon Training Bubble.

Guevarra earlier this week has said that, while CHED submitted a report of its investigation on Ayo’s alleged breach of quarantine protocols when he brought the Growling Tigers to his hometown in Sorsogon for training last June, there was no complaint against the former UST mentor.

The DOJ’s statement contradicts the claim of University Athletic Association of the Philippines executive director Rebo Saguisag that there are already separate probes being conducted by the DoJ, the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government, barring them from lifting his indefinite ban in the UAAP.

Last September, the UAAP decided to impose sanction on Ayo for allegedly endangering the health and well-being of his players by calling for a training in his home province of Sorsogon.

The UAAP, however, admitted that its decision was merely based on report submitted by UST and not from an official investigation by governing authorities.

Last October, the Philippine National Police (PNP)-Sorsogon cleared Ayo of any health and quarantine protocols violation following an investigation requested by the Sorsogon provincial government led by Gov. Francis “Chiz” Escudero.

The PNP report noted that the actions performed by former UST head coach Aldin V. Ayo is in accordance with the health protocol and guidelines” formulated by the existing Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Disease.