Cayetano defends choice of Villar mall as SEA Games bowling venue, denies favoritism
MANILA, Philippines — Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, a member of the Nacionalista Party headed by billionaire Manuel Villar, denied on Thursday that he favored the Villars, whose shopping mall will be used as venue of the bowling events of the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.
“The Villars never asked me to use any of their facilities,” the Taguig-Pateros representative, who also chairs the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (Phisgoc) Foundation Inc., said in an interview in Capas, Tarlac during the inspection of some of the venues for the upcoming SEA Games from November 30 to December 11.
“In fact, if you didn’t bring it up, I wouldn’t have known all of these details. What I make sure of is that walang (there’s no) corruption, walang favoritism, walang excessive, and walang overpriced,” he added.
The regional sports meet’s bowling competition will be held at the Starmall EDSA-Shaw owned by the Villars. But Cayetano said the bowling facility inside the mall is owned and operated by Puyat Sports and not the Villars.
“So, that’s an example of pure politics, of trying to find issues,” said Cayetano, referring to critics.
The pro-administration lawmaker also stressed that the facility passed international standards and accreditation.
“Sila lang ang may 20 lanes (They are the only one with 20 lanes). So, it just so happened that the Puyat Sports bowling lanes are in the Villar Mall,” Cayetano said.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.