Sotto not keen on probe of alleged irregularities in hosting of SEA Games
MANILA, Philippines — Senator President Vicente Sotto III is not warm to the idea of a Senate probe into alleged irregularities surrounding the country’s hosting of the South East Asian Games last December, saying this might derogate the efforts of the organizers.
“We garnered an unprecedented medal haul in the recent SEA Games and instead of Congratulations, we will reward the people behind with investigations? Huwag ganun (Let’s not be like that),” Sotto told reporters on Friday when asked to comment on the call of Senator Risa Hontiveros.
In a privilege speech earlier this week, Hontiveros called for a “full-scale” investigation into the joint venture agreement (JVA) entered into by the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) with Malaysian developer MTD Capital Berhad for the construction of sports facilities at New Clark City.
According to Hontiveros, there are “signs” that the JVA between BCDA and the Malaysian firm is a “fake joint venture.”
But Sotto said a full-scale investigation may be mounted by the Office of the Ombudsman, if warranted.
“May Ombudsman naman, if warranted… Ombudsman ang mag-investigate. Pwede din sa kanila file complaint (There is the Ombudsman, if warranted… Ombudsman should be the one to investigate. Complaints can be filed there too),” he added.
Former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano has said that the Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee (Phisgoc), which he chaired, is open to any investigation — but not to witch hunt — amid alleged irregularities that marred the country’s hosting of the sporting event last year.
“So is PHISGOC open to any investigation? Yes. E bakit may mga masasakit na salita versus that? (But why are there hurtful words against that) Because we’re open to investigation, but we’re against witch hunts,” Cayetano said.
“’Yung investigation, ibig sabihin may maipapakita kayong allegation, meron kayong binibintang, may proseso para makadepensa para yung namimintang ay mape-present nila ang ebidensiya nila at yung bintang nila, yung accusation. And yun namang kabila ay makakasagot,” he added.
(When you say investigation, it means you will present an allegation but there is a process so that the complainant can present evidence and then the other party can respond.)
The former speaker’s sister, Senator Pia Cayetano, also fumed at Hontiveros for flagging the possible irregularities in the P9.5-billion funding used to construct sports facilities.
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