Cayetano defends award given by government-backed body
MANILA, Philippines — Philippine South East Asia Games Organizing Committee (Phisgoc) chair Alan Cayetano defended Thursday the recognition given to them by Sports Industry Awards Asia (SPIA), whose conference was endorsed by Phisgoc itself and the government.
“First of all ‘yung special award na binigay sa atin ng (given to us by) Sports Asia… is not for me, not for one organizer, not even for President Duterte, para sa lahat ‘to eh (it’s for everybody)…” the House Speaker said in an interview.
The Taguig-Pateros representative further denied that they sponsored the SPIA.
“Nakakalungkot lang na maraming fake news na umiikot na sinasabing ‘di totoo ‘yung award, o kaya gobyerno raw ng Pilipinas ang SPIA, or spinonsoran namin,” Cayetano claimed. “These are all not true. Ako mismo nagulat ako dito sa award na ‘to.”
(It’s sad that there are a lot of fake news circulating, which claims that the award was fake or that the SPIA was the government of the Philippines, or that we sponsored them. These are all not true. Even I did not expect the award.)
The head of the 30th SEA Games organizing body also said the recognition was a “good signal to the world that we’re ready to host big international events.”
“I don’t think it’s a coincidence na may magbibigay ng award na isa sa pinaka, best organized… Sa ating mga kababayan, you can bash me, you can bash people you don’t like, pero don’t bash your country kasi itong award na ito will bring in more hosting opportunity sa atin, more tourists, and also more business…” he added.
(I don’t think it’s a coincidence that a body would confer an award to us as the best organized SEA Games… To our fellow countrymen, you can bash me, you can bash people you don’t like, but don’t bash your country because this award will bring in more hosting opportunity to us, more tourists, and also more business…)
According to its website, SPIA Asia-Asia’s Sports Industry Awards & Conference recognizes and celebrates Asia’s Top 10 in 25 distinct awards categories.
The body conferred the SPIA Asia Excellence Award to Phisgoc last Tuesday at the Grand Hyatt Manila.
“This [is] by far the best Southeast Asian games so far ever. And that has been awarded by SPIA Asia to Phisgoc so congratulations,” SPIA chief executive officer Eric Gottschalk said in his short speech.
“SPIA Asia is now running in its 5th year and endorsed by the 30th SEA Games Organizing Committee, and presented by the Tourism Promotions Board Philippines,” it said.
Over the past weeks, foreign and local athletes participating in the 30th SEA Games from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11 have complained about delays in accommodation and other logistical mess. Phisgoc also drew the ire of Sen. Franklin Drilon and the public for spending P50 million for a cauldron.
No less than President Rodrigo Duterte has acknowledged the mishaps and called for an investigation into the issues, including the allegations of “incompetence and corruption.”
Edited by KGA
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