Cayetano welcomes probe, denies SEA Games riddled with anomalies
MANILA, Philippines — Philippine South East Asian Games Organizing Committee (Phisgoc) chair Alan Cayetano has welcomed the Ombudsman’s investigation on the hosting of the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games for possible graft and corruption.
The Speaker maintained that the hosting has no anomalies and that the claims of unpreparedness and corruption were “unfounded.”
“We will fully support all investigations, and as I said before, I am ordering full transparency, audits, and opening of all books,” Cayetano said in a statement.
“Thousands of Filipinos worked hard and faithfully to make the Games the success that it is. Wala itong anomalya (This has no anomaly),” he added.
But as he welcomed the Ombudsman’s creation of a seven-man fact-finding panel, the Taguig-Pateros representative also issued a warning against those who had allegedly “plotted against SEA Games” and “spread fake news and malicious lies.”
“Personally I forgive you, but for the national interest, there will be accountability and reckoning,” Cayetano said.
Foreign and local athletes have complained about delays in accommodation and other logistical mess at the beginning of the biennial regional sports meet from November 30 to December 11. Sen. Franklin Drilon and the public also criticized Phisgoc for spending P50 million for a cauldron.
Sen. Panfilo Lacson also pointed out that the transfer of P1.5 billion public funds for the SEA Games from the Philippine Sports Commission to the Cayetano-led private group was similar to the controversial pork barrel scam.
President Rodrigo Duterte has acknowledged the mishaps in the hosting of the competition and called for an investigation into the issues, including the allegations of “incompetence and corruption.”
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