UAAP athletes can vote on May 9 polls

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 01 2022 05:47 PM | Updated as of May 01 2022 06:58 PM

UAAP athletes can exit their bubbles and vote in the upcoming May 9 national elections. UAAP Media
UAAP athletes can exit their bubbles and vote in the upcoming May 9 national elections. UAAP Media

MANILA - UAAP athletes can exit their bubbles to vote during the May 9 elections, the league's executive director confirmed.

UAAP Executive Director Atty. Rebo Saguisag told ABS-CBN News on Sunday that UAAP players will be allowed to vote as long as they follow the re-entry protocols afterward.

"I've always said that more than athletes, they are student-athletes. But more than student-athletes, all of them or each of us are particles of popular sovereignty. You can say that we live in interesting times, and the right of suffrage is very sacred," Saguisag said.

"Again, ang importante dito, we have to clear it with the health and safety officer. For as long as they follow the protocols on re-entry, they will be allowed to vote, whether the basketball tournament and the volleyball tournament. So no need to worry," he added.

Athletes who exit their team's bubble to cast their vote must undergo an antigen test for five consecutive days upon their re-entry.

"If you test negative sa antigen, it means that you are not infectious for that day," said Saguisag. "Again, if you're not infectious, then you can play. So, and then for the next four days, for a total of five days straight, antigen testing ka lang."

"That's the protocol for re-entry."

UAAP athletes have not been silent about the upcoming national elections, lending their platforms on social media to support their preferred candidates.

Saguisag made it clear that the UAAP is an apolitical institution that will allow their member-schools, as well as the student-athletes themselves, to hold their own positions and express them.

"They're allowed to be vocal about it," he stressed. 

He acknowledged that there will be risks in allowing players to exit their respective team bubbles in order to cast their votes; the UAAP has been very strict in maintaining a bubble around teams since the start of the men's basketball tournament.

However, Saguisag also noted that "the right of suffrage is sacred."

"Each of them, as a particle of popular sovereignty, must be entitled to vote, must vote, or exercise their right to vote," he said.

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