Party’s over, time to grill Phisgoc on SEA Games mess
MANILA, Philippines — Despite the success of Filipino athletes in the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, Senator Panfilo Lacson said Congress should still look into the the alleged corruption hounding the country’s hosting of the biennial sports event.
“Magkaiba ang mga atleta at ang organizing committee, ang Phisgoc (Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee). Kung ano man ang honors na ibinigay ng mga atleta, 149 golds, 287 (medals) lahat-lahat, walang kinalaman ang organizing committee doon,” Lacson told reporters in a phone patch interview on Thursday when asked on the matter.
(The athletes and the organizing committee, Phisgoc, are different. Whatever honors our athletes have given with 149 golds, 287 medals all in all, the organizing committee has nothing to do with that.)
“So huwag natin ipaghalo na yung success ng mga atleta natin e utang na loob dun sa Phisgoc. Kasi organizing council yung Phisgoc…Ngayon kung ano ang kapalpakan ng Phisgoc whether totoo o hindi, dapat tingnan sa pamamagitan na oversight na mandate ng Senado at saka ng House,” he said.
(So let’s not get it mixed up, that the success of our athletes is something we owe Phisgoc. Phisgoc is the organizing council. Now, the failure of Phisgoc, whether it’s true or not, it should be looked into with the oversight mandate of the Senate and House).
Among the questions raised about the government’s spending for the SEA Games was the P50-million estimated cost for the design and construction of a stadium cauldron, and the P700 million fund transfer to Phisgoc which is a private foundation.
Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon wanted some answers and called for a Senate inquiry into possible corruption in the hosting of the 2019 SEA Games. He said he would file a Senate resolution calling for an inquiry.
Various problems were also reported regarding the preparations for the biennial meet that started last November 30 and ended on Wednesday (Dec 11).
Ombudsman Samuel Martires earlier announced the creation of a fact-finding panel that would look into allegations against the conduct of the SEA Games.
Lacson said that a Senate inquiry might help the Ombudsman in its investigation.
“For all we know makatulong ang investigation ng Senado sa fact-finding investigation na ginagawa ng Ombudsman. Kasi may nangyari in the past na yung proceeds o result ng investigation ng Senate nagamit ng Ombudsman o Sandiganbayan,” he went on.
(For all we know, the Senate investigation can help with the fact-finding investigation of the Ombudsman. Because in the past, there was an instance that the result of the Senate investigation were used by the Ombudsman or the Sandiganbayan.)
“So sa aking pananaw, kung may resolution at privilege speech tungkol dito na referred sa committee—halimbawa, sa blue ribbon committee—dapat tuloy ang investigation,” he added.
(So in my view, if there is a resolution and a privilege speech referred to a committee about this—for example the blue ribbon committee—the investigation should push through.)
Lacson also assured that no one would be exempted from the investigation.
“Walang exempted diyan kasi walang above the law. Kung may pagkakamali dapat may matingnan,” he said.
(No one is exempted because no one is above the law. If there are irregularities, it should be looked into).
Edited by AC
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