Lawmakers: No need for probe into SEA Games fiasco yet | Inquirer News

Lawmakers: No need for probe into SEA Games fiasco yet

05:31 PM November 26, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – At least two lawmakers believe that there is still no need for Congress to investigate the problems hounding the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, including the alleged lack of coordination between the organizing committee and the government.

PBA  Rep. Jericho Nograles and Valenzuela 2nd District Rep. Eric Martinez said on Tuesday they see no problem with investigations on the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (Phisgoc) management of the SEA Games.

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However, they both clarified that the House of Representatives’ Committee on youth development and sports — which Martinez and Nograles are chair and vice-chair of, respectively — would not pursue any probe yet.

“Well we don’t have any knowledge on that one as we speak but (if there’s an) investigation, then we will investigate after,” Nograles said in a press briefing.

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“No, we’re not saying that,” Nograles quickly answered when asked if the committee would launch an investigation.  “We don’t have the facts yet… so that’s best left to Phisgoc, not the committee on youth and sports development.”

Phisgoc, led by Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, has encountered several controversies ranging from accusations of overpriced materials, not being able to ferry football teams from other countries to their respective hotels, mixed-up press cards, inadequate breakfast for athletes, to unfinished sporting venues.

Several critics including Senator Franklin Drilon asked why Phisgoc was allowed to handle the organizing of the SEA Games alone, despite corruption issues that President Rodrigo Duterte himself opened about last July.

Malacañang initially sought a probe of Phisgoc due to the corruption allegations, although they spared Cayetano from the blame.  Cayetano, prior to his Speakership, was a member of Duterte’s cabinet and was the President’s running mate in the 2016 elections.

Instead of focusing on the issues, Martinez and Nograles urged media and the public to focus on the sporting events of the SEA Games, and to support the country’s teams.

“Mahirap mag-react dyan (It’s uncalled for to react to that), we enjoy the games,” Nograles said when asked to react on the possibility that the delayed 2019 budget contributed to the SEA Games problems.  “You know it’s exciting, the badminton event, you know why?  Because the world-caliber athletes of Malaysia are coming in, so it’s nice to see them.”

They also chose to talk about the Philippine Azkals’ 1-1 draw with Cambodia, which was largely due to the injury time heroics of captain Stephan Schrock and defender Dennis Chung, who scored the equalizing goal 93 minutes into the match.

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TAGS: 2019 Southeast Asian Games, House of Representatives, PBA party-list, Philippine news updates, Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee, PHISGOC, Rep. Eric Martinez, Rep. Jericho Nograles, SEA games, Valenzuela 2nd District
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