Saturday, September 06, 2008

Tomas: ANS' ban stays

From Sun.Star Cebu, by Rene H. Martel

CEBU City Mayor Tomas Osmeña will not reconsider the one-year suspension imposed on the Abellana National School (ANS) football team after its coach appealed that the players be excluded from the punishment. 

The team joined a Dumaguete City sporting event last July without permission from the Department of Education (DepEd) and the City Government. 

Worse, the school represented Cebu Province instead of Cebu City, prompting the mayor to ask for the imposition of a penalty. 

After an investigation, Cebu City Schools Superintendent Lorna Rances ordered a one-year ban on the team and coach Francis Ramirez. 

The order prevents the team from joining the Milo Olympics this Friday, the City Olympics, and other DepEd-sanctioned activities, including the district and division meets. 

The ANS, therefore, does not have the chance to represent Cebu City in the Palarong Pambansa. 

Interviewed by Sun.Star Cebu last Tuesday, Ramirez said he will accept the sanction, but begged that the players be spared, especially that not all of them joined the Philippine Olympic Festival in Dumaguete. 

But in a press conference yesterday, the mayor said the suspension stays. 

“When you do an act in your authority as head of the team, the team will suffer for whatever actions you did. Otherwise, he will do it again,” the mayor said. 

“Why do we sanction these people? It is also to set that everybody has to follow the rules and know the consequences for breaking the rules,” he added. 

He said that if he will spare the students, Ramirez might again have them join tournaments without informing the DepEd and the City. 

In a letter to ANS principal Ernesto Jacel explaining his side, Ramirez said the trip to the Philippine Football Festival was sanctioned by the Cebu Football Association. 

They left for Dumaguete last July 22, and was told after they arrived there that participating teams must represent the local government units they came from. 

Since there was already another team that represented Cebu City, the ANS team was registered as from the Cebu province, to which he reluctantly agreed, fearing that the sponsors might get angry at him. 

And seeing that the players were “very expectant” in joining the games and had already sacrificed a lot, he decided to agree on the arrangement. 

However, Sun.Star Cebu already reported last July 12 that ANS will represent Cebu Province, while Paref-Springdale will don Cebu City’s colors in the event.

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