Not that bad: Palace won’t seek liability over 2019 SEA Games snafus

/ 11:16 PM November 24, 2019
Not that bad: Palace won’t seek liability over 2019 SEA Games snafus

Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo holds a media briefing in Busan, South Korea on Sunday, November 24, 2019, after announcing that President Rodrigo Duterte has fired Vice President Leni Robredo as anti-drug war czar. Pathricia Roxas/INQUIRER.net

BUSAN, South Korea — Malacañang will not seek accountability from organizers of the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games despite the snags faced by athletes, President Rodrigo Duterte’s spokesman said Sunday night.

READ: PH SEA Games organizer sorry for transport, accommodation problems


In a press briefing here, Salvador Panelo, who is also Duterte’s chief legal counsel, pointed out that the Philippine Sea Games Organizing Committee (Phisgoc) had already apologized for the delays in transportation and accommodation of athletes competing at the regional sports meet.

The Philippine-hosted 30th SEA Games will run from November 30 to December 11.


Panelo then repeated his previous apology for the “unintentional inconvenience” suffered by the guests.

READ: Palace apologizes for ‘unintentional inconvenience’ in SEA Games hosting

“You cannot discount any delays incident of non-transport and late checking in given the fact that there are many athletes coming to the Philippines. Natural lang ‘yun (It’s natural),” he said.

Pressed if the Duterte administration would seek accountability from or sanctions against SEA Games organizers, Panelo said: “Ok na ‘yun. Palagay ko gagawan na nila ng paraan.”

(Their apology is enough. I think they would find ways now.)

“Creativity lang ‘yun, dun siguro sila nagkulang pero baka nataranta lang… ‘Yun naman hindi naman gaano ka-grabe ‘yun eh,” he also said.

(They just lacked creativity, but maybe they just panicked… The snags were not that serious anyway.)


Football players from Timor-Leste, Myanmar, and Thailand have complained about delayed transportation from the airport and sudden changes in hotel arrangement, while photos of the Cambodian football team sleeping on the floor circulated social media.

READ: SEA Games footballers from 4 countries get messy reception in Manila

Panelo insisted the athletes were still “comfortable,” adding that no safety or health issues have been reported so far.

“I noticed also in the photos that I saw, nakahiga at nakaupo lang sila, parang nagre-rest lang naman sila… pero hindi naman sa labas ng ano, meron pa ring roof, and comfortable seats and airconditioned,” he said.

(I noticed also in the photos that I saw, the athletes were laying and sitting, they were just resting… not outside, they still have a roof over their heads and comfortable seats and airconditioned areas.)

The government has spent at least P6 billion for the hosting of the 30th SEA Games alone, on top of the other expenses for the construction of game venues. Competition organizers also recently drew the ire of many for spending around P50 million for a giant stadium cauldron.

READ: P50-million giant ‘kaldero’ riles Drilon

Edited by KGA
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TAGS: 2019 SEA Games, 30th SEA Games, Alan Peter Cayetano, cauldron, Local news, Nation, national news, News, Philippine news updates, PHISGOC, Rodrigo Duterte, Salvador Panelo, SEA games, SEA Games 2019, Sports
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