MANILA — The University of the East (UE) sent Philippine Olympic Commitee (POC) chairman Ricky Vargas a letter to “strongly deny the… misleading statement” of Vargas that the university did not allow Marella Salamat from competing in the Asian Games in Jakarta.
In a copy of the letter made by UE president Ester Garcia that was posted in the academe’s social media channels, the school said that it was Salamat, a 2015 SEA Games gold medalist in cycling, and her family who made the decision to beg off from competition to focus on her dentistry studies.
“The truth of the matter is that Ms. Salamat did not file a leave of absence for her potential participation in the 2018 Asian Games and moreover, because it is Ms. Salamat and her mother, Dr. Marivic Tangonan-Salamat (herself a UE Dentistry graduate), who ultimately decided for Marella to abstain from taking part in the coming Asian Games in favor of pursuing her studies,” Garcia said in the letter.
Garcia, however, also denied the younger Salamat’s claim that she may need to repeat the entire dentistry course should she play for the Asiad.
“[It is] a remark that Ms. Salamat had made without proper consultation with the UE College of Dentistry Dean’s office,” Garcia said.
“It is thus grossly unfair for the University of the East and the officialdom of the UE College of Dentistry to be cast in a negative light in the news reports that have come out regarding this matter,” she added.
Garcia then concluded, “It is our hope that not only does this clear up the matter but that news reports pertaining to this matter would be updated or issued to make known UE’s side to the sports officials, insiders, and reporters concerned and, conversely, to all sports news readers and viewers following this story.”(PNA)