Cayetano dares Lacson, Drilon to take lie-detector test: Wala akong kinita sa SEA Games
MANILA, Philippines — House Speaker Alan Cayetano has slammed Sen. Panfilo Lacson’s remark that the transfer of P1.5 billion public funds for the Southeast Asian Games from the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) to the Cayetano-led private group was similar to the controversial pork barrel scam.
“There’s news today na sabi ni Senator Lacson eh para daw Napoles, sabi ni Senator Drilon ‘yung kaldero ni Cayetano (Sen. Lacson likened the SEA Games budget to the Napoles scam while Sen. Drilon branded the cauldron as ‘Cayetano’s cauldron’),” the chair of the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (Phisgoc) Foundation Inc. said during a speech in an event in San Juan.
“I’m willing to have a lie detector test, kaming tatlo (the three of us, Sens. Lacson and Drilon) and I can look anyone in the eye, ni singko wala kaming kinita rito sa SEA Games, abonado pa nga kami dahil sa mga nangyari (we haven’t gained even a single centavo from the SEA Games budget, we even had to shell out from our personal money because of the recent events,” he added.
The House leader explained that the budget for the regional sports meet from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11 was inserted in the 2019 Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) budget since Cayetano, a former Foreign Affairs chief, was the one who took on the role of lead organizer.
“Nagtataka ko sa mga senador kung bakit sila nagtataka kung bakit nasa DFA eh inapprove nila (I’m wondering why the senators are wondering why the budget of the SEA Games was lodged on DFA because they approved the 2019 national budget),” Cayetano said.
The former senator also dismissed the conflict of interest claims against him as Phisgoc chair and a sitting legislator whose power includes scrutinizing the budget of government agencies.
“Madaling sabihin may conflict of interest. Nasaan ba kayo nung kailangan kayo ng Phisgoc? Edi sana nagvolunteer kayo, sana kayo nagchairman, sana kayo nag-ano ng pera (It’s easy for you to claim there’s conflict of interest. But where were you when Phisgoc needed you? You should have volunteered to be the chairman, you have secured the budget),” Cayetano said.
Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo earlier said President Rodrigo Duterte wants an investigation of the SEA Games mess, including the allegations of “incompetence and corruption.”
But Cayetano has brushed this off, saying he was sent word that the President just wants him to continue doing his job.
“That wasn’t the message to me by the President. Sec. Panelo has sometimes his own interpretation or words…” he said, adding that he ordered that a letter be sent to the Commission on Audit to conduct an independent audit of all funds used in the SEA Games.
Edited by MUF
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