Judge issues order against Cesafi, says Scott Aying didn’t violate league’s rules
Scott Aying, whose parents waged a legal battle against a sports league of Cebu’s top private schools, won the first round when the Regional Trial Court yesterday issued a writ of preliminary injunction against the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation, Inc. (Cesafi).
The order stops Cesafi from disqualifying Scott from playing in the 2013-14 season, where he signed up as a forward in the Baby Warriors of the University of San Carlos.
Judge Simeon Dumdum Jr. said the student did not violate a two-year residency rule which applies to high school players who transfer from a Cesafi-member school, since Scott was previously enrolled in San Beda College in Manila, which is not a Cesafi-member school.
“The Cesafi Screening Committee erred in their interpretation” of their rule, Judge Dumdum said.
In a Sept. 30 order, the judge said Scott should be allowed to play in the Cesafi basketball tournament for high school teams pending a final decision in the civil case.
“After a rigorous review of the issue, the court finds that the petitioner (Scott Aying) has a right in esse to be protected—the right to play in the 2013-14 Cesafi basketball season,” Judge Dumdum added.
Cesafi, an organization of 10 member schools, was represented in court by lawyer Baldomero Estenzo. Oral arguments were heard on Sept. 26. Cesafi insisted that the league’s eligibility rules must be enforced and that courts should stay out of sports disputes.
The judge disagreed.
“As to the contention that the judiciary should not interfere with sports, this might hold water in a perfect world. But reality being what it is, in the field of sports, which is likewise a field of human activity, conflicts arise,” said the judge.
“Sportsmen are not exempt from the provisions in the Civil Code relating to human relations, in particular, Art. 19, which provides: ‘Every person must, in the exercise of his rights and in the performance of his duties, act with justice, give everyone his due, and observe honesty and good faith.”
The judge said that whenever there are controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable, “the courts have power to settle” them.
Scott’s grandmonther Febe Chiong was so excited she went to the court past 4 p.m. to get a copy of the order.
“Our family is overjoyed. That’s why I ran over to the court to get a copy of the decision. I just wanted to have one in my hands,” she said in Cebuano.
Chiong said the court decision was a “double victory” because last Sunday in the Milo basketball game, the USC high school team won and Scott was named as Most Valuable Player.
She said the boy cried and fell on his knees when he accepted the award last Sunday.
Scott, the eldest of three children, is the only son of a former professional basketball player, Danilo Aying, who played with the Ginebra team in the 1990s.
The grandmother said Scott was depressed when the Cesafi controversy erupted last month. He was notified on August 2, a day before the tournament started, that he was not qualified to play.
He cried and locked himself in his room, said the grandmother.
She said the family, especially Scott’s father, continued to encourage him to join practice sessions of the USC Baby Warriors.
The grandmother said Scott dreams of playing in the PBA someday.
“Of course, who doesn’t dream of that but he makes sure to work hard in his studies,” she said.
Despite the controversy, Chiong said her grandson never said anyting negative about the Cesafi officials because he was by nature “very respectful and humble.”
“Buotan nga bata (He’s a good boy),” she said.
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