Dispute rocks DC-PRISAA

The group headed by four-time president Dr. Pedro San Jose of the University of Mindanao distributed copies of their version of "set of officers for the school year 2008-2009," along with the schedule of events, to sports journalists during a weekly sports forum here.

But the other group led by Holy Cross of Davao College sports coordinator Abraham Verdeprado, in a phone interview, claimed that their group won the "legal election".

"Ours was the legal election. When did they hold their election, yesterday?” asked Charles Suarez, San Pedro College sports coordinator and executive director of the Verdeprado camp.

The veteran sportsman Verdeprado defeated San Jose, a former Davao del Norte vice governor, for the presidency in the board election participated in by 12 member schools last September.

Verdeprado won convincingly 9-3.

Aside from Verdeprado, Arlene de Vera (Brokenshire), Ellen Villalobos (Mindanao Medical Foundation College) and Lemuel Bayron (Davao Doctors College) won in the same fashion as vice president, secretary-general and treasurer, respectively.

Speaking at the weekly Davao Sportswriters Association Forum, San Jose said eight schools "broke away from us" and allegedly want to divide the DC-PRISAA.

"They want to separate from us," said San Jose, who pointed out that "we did not ask them to separate".

"We were surprised that after our open forum aimed at patching things up after the election, they told us that they want to separate from us, " San Jose recalled.

However, Suarez said their move to divide the DC-PRISAA into two groups was a way “to have a change of leadership".

Upon learning that the other group took steps to form their own DC-PRISAA group, UM sports coordinator Joaquin Sarabia said "we immediately held our election". 

Sarabia, who is also the Philippine Amateur Baseball Association (PABA) regional director, is the executive director of the San Jose camp.

Other elected officers include Pochollo Elegino of Ateneo de Davao University (vice president), Ma. Lita Montalban of Emar College (secretary general), Edgardo Grandeza of University of Immaculate Conception (treasurer), Leah Cabang of Philippine Women’s College (auditor), Al Ryan Alejandre of DMMA-DCSP and Wilfredo Yap of UM-Toril (P.I.O.) and Dr. Matias Mercado of UM-Guinga (business manager).

National PRISAA chairman Emmanuel Angeles is set to fly in here to settle the dispute between the two groups.

San Jose said that their scheduled DC-PRISAA eliminations will push through with or without the eight schools — Holy Cross, Agro Industrial Foundation College, San Pedro College, Brokenshire College, Jose Maria College, Davao Doctors College, Mindanao Medical Foundation College and Rizal Memorial College.

The DC-PRISAA eliminations spearheaded by the San Jose camp will kick off on February 7 at the UM Matina campus. There are 14 sports disciplines lined up for the meet which usually serves as selection basis for the city delegation to the regional meet slated on March 21 to 23.

Asked when they would conduct their eliminations, Suarez said they would still meet to talk about the matter. (Rico Biliran / MindaNews)