Palace welcomes Ombudsman probe on SEA Games corruption
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang welcomes the Ombudsman’s probe into allegations of corruption in the country’s hosting and organizing of the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.
“I think the Ombudsman is responding to the reports of certain irregularities and that is the task of the Ombudsman, it can initiate on its own or motu propio investigate any complaint of irregularities even without a complainant complaining about it,” presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a press briefing.
Ombudsman Chair Samuel Martires on Monday said the probe would include Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, who serves as chair of the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (Phisgoc).
Phisgoc is a privately-formed body by Cayetano to lead Manila’s hosting of the SEA Games.
“I think Speaker Alan Cayetano welcomes it. He issued a statement on that effect,” Panelo said.
Cayetano said he “fully support all investigations,” saying the allegations of anomalies and corruption were “unfounded.”
Even before the start of a formal investigation, President Rodrigo Duterte said he was “sure” Cayetano was not involved in corruption.
“Well, you know President Duterte is a lawyer and we lawyers always give the presumption of innocence to everyone accused of any crime or irregularity,” Panel said.
“So until such time an evidence to the contrary is given n us or given the President, the same presumption of innocence is accorded to him or to anyone,” he said.
Cayetano is a known political ally of Duterte, being his running mate in the 2016 presidential elections.
Edited by MUF
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