Hontiveros spurns Cayetano’s dare amid call for 2019 SEAG probe
MANILA, Philippines — “’Di ko naman sila binanggit at all.”
(I did not even mention them at all.)
This was Senator Risa Hontiveros’ response to Taguig Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano’s challenge for her to resign if she does not find any irregularities in the construction of the sports facilities used during the country’s hosting of the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.
“I have always said from the beginning, this is not about politics. This is about accountability. With all due respect, ‘di ko naman sila binanggit at all,” Hontiveros said in an interview over CNN Philippines on Tuesday.
“I fully intend to practice inter-parliamentary courtesy between two Houses, so I’m not calling his challenge or his bluff. Halimbawa sa ating opisina, na mag-liquidate tayo ng expenses, sinasabihan ba natin ‘yung humingi noon na mag-resign ka kung tama naman ‘yung liquidation ko?” Hontiveros said.
(I fully intend to practice inter-parliamentary courtesy between two Houses, so I’m not calling his challenge or his bluff. For example, in our office, when we liquidate our expenses, do we challenge the person who asked for the liquidation to resign if the liquidation was correct?)
Cayetano was head of the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC).
But during her privilege speech that called for the investigation – which also riled up Cayetano’s sister, Senator Pia Cayetano, in the Senate, Hontiveros did not mention any dealings involving PHISGOC.
“Sa pagkakaalam ko, hindi sila bahagi ng BCDA (Bases Conversion and Development Authority) ni ng DBP (Development Bank of the Philippines) so it is those two agencies and their officials that I would have my eye on in the hearing,” she added.
(From what I know, they are not a part of the BCDA or the DBP so it is those two agencies and their officials that I would have my eye on in the hearing.)
Hontiveros had called for a probe into the joint venture agreement (JVA) entered into by the BCDA with Malaysian developer MTD Capital Berhad for the construction of sports facilities in the New Clark City in Tarlac.
She had also raised suspicion on the P9.5-billion loan given to MTD by the DBP to fund the construction of the facilities under the JVA.
The senator suspected that the project was financed by a behest loan, which shifts the burden of paying it to Filipino taxpayers, mainly the DBP depositors.
Hontiveros further stressed that the investigation she is calling for is “in the full exercise” of Congress, including the Senate’s power of oversight on the spending of public funds.
“’Yun at ‘yun lamang, alang-alang sa ating mga atleta,” she added.
(That is the extent of the probe, this is not about the athletes.)
RELATED STORY: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1361219/athletes-not-an-excuse-ditch-issues-hounding-sea-games-project-deals-hontiveros
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