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Cebu News

CESAFI appeals court to dismiss civil case

Mylen P. Manto - The Philippine Star

CEBU, Philippines - The Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation, Inc. (CESAFI) is seeking for the dismissal of the civil case for injunction with damages filed against them by a player of the University of San Carlos Baby Warriors who has elevated to court an earlier complaint against the organization for not allowing him to play with his school’s team. 

The CESAFI pointed out that Scott Aying has no cause of action to file charges against them.

Aying, represented by his parents, earlier lodged a complaint for injunction with prayer for a temporary restraining order (TRO) and the issuance of a preliminary mandatory injunction with damages before the court against the CESAFI and its officials for disqualifying him to play the 2013 Junior Basketball League.

However, the defendants in their reply stressed that Aying, as well as his parents have no legal standing in the case since they were not the real-party-in-interest considering that they are not members of the CESAFI.

“The members of CESAFI are the various collegiate and high schools in Cebu. So any question or case pertaining to its internal rules should be raised and made only by member schools or perhaps prosecuted in behalf of the member school. Obviously, this instant case does not carry the imprimatur of USC-BED, the latter being the real-party-in-interest,” stated in the reply and counterclaim of CESAFI.

Defendants, through lawyers Baldomero Estenzo and Gerry Robertson Mira, cited that it is a “basic principle” that only members of the organization can raise questions concerning the internal rules of the organization.

In his complaint, Aying contested Rule B, paragraph 5 for transferees of the Amended Rules and Regulations for CESAFI 2012-2013 Tournament, which has been made as grounds for his disqualification.

The specific regulation states that “any high school student athlete of a CESAFI member school who transfers to another member school shall be required a minimum of two-year residence to qualify to play. The period of his residency shall be counted as part of his/her playing years. However, any student athlete from a disbanded member school team shall be eligible to play without the required residency.”

But Aying emphasized in his complaint that this does not apply to him but to college students only.

Lawyer Donato Gonzales earlier pointed out that before their client enrolled to USC, he came from San Beda College, a non-CESAFI member school, which makes him qualified to play only.

In school year 2011 to 2012, Aying was enrolled at Don Bosco Technological Center, a CESAFI member school. But in the following year, he transferred to San Beda College in Manila.

Aying returned to Cebu and enrolled at the USC in school year 2013 to 2014 and was included in the lineup of players in the basketball team of USC-Basic Education Department (BED).

However, before the opening of the league, the CESAFI screening committee disqualified him from playing due to a residency rule. 

The CESAFI also noted that Aying was given due process as proven in the letter of reply on the disqualification they got from USC-BED director, Rev. Fr. Felino B. Javines, Jr. SVD

Injunction

If the case will not be dismissed, the defendants said it will constitute unwarranted judicial interference in the internal affairs of the CESAFI, a duly organized and independent organization.

“If legal notions were allowed to intrude at every level in the enforcement of rules of private (or even public) sporting events, there will result anarchy and chaos, as virtually every decision by an umpire, or referee or sports judge could be subject to question and every disqualification based on a clear-cut rule would be qualified by the presence or absence of good faith or bad faith, or the question of motive or intent,” the CESAFI stressed.

Also, the organization added that if injunction will be issued, it will cause irreparable damage to CESAFI and likewise would be unfair for other athletes who were also barred from playing for CESAFI games due to the said rule.

Counterclaim

Due to the alleged filing of “malicious and groundless action” of the petitioner against them, CESAFI asked Aying’s camp to pay them not less than P500,000 for moral damages as well as for exemplary damages plus the payment of 20 percent of the total cost of attorney’s fees.

Last Monday, Regional Trial Court Judge Simeon Dumdum, Jr. of Branch 7 issued an order for a writ of preliminary injunction be issued after Aying can post a bond of P100,000.

With the order, CESAFI would need to lift the residency rule against Aying consequently allowing him to play in the remaining games of the USC-BED team which was able to get in the semi-finals of the 2013 Junior Basketball League. — (FREEMAN) 

AMENDED RULES AND REGULATIONS

AYING

BALDOMERO ESTENZO AND GERRY ROBERTSON MIRA

BASIC EDUCATION DEPARTMENT

BUT AYING

CEBU

CESAFI

JUNIOR BASKETBALL LEAGUE

SAN BEDA COLLEGE

SCHOOL

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