Cayetano ready to face probe into SEA Games fiasco
In this Nov. 9, 2019 photo, House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano delivers the opening remarks at the 2019 SEA Games workforce pep rally in Taguig City.
2019 SEA Games/Released
Cayetano ready to face probe into SEA Games fiasco
Patricia Lourdes Viray ( - November 28, 2019 - 11:34am

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) chairperson and House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano is ready to be held accountable for the issues hounding the country's hosting of the biennial meet.

Cayetano said he will present himself to the Senate as soon as the SEA Games ends in a few weeks.

"There is no need for anyone to call for an investigation because I already told the Senate that I am ready by December 12," Cayetano said in Filipino.

The PHISGOC chair said he will expose those who have been spreading misinformation about the Philippines' hosting of the SEA Games.

Cayetano said he might file libel or cyber libel charges against those who have been propagating "fake news" about the event.

"I need the PHISGOC board to approve it but my vote for the PHISGOC is that anything that they try to smear — my name or personality is okay because that is personal — but you try to smear the name of the SEA Games or the country you should face (charges)," Cayetano said.

While Malacañang said that there should be an investigation into the irregularities of the SEA Games hosting, Cayetano insisted that the organizing committee has been transparent.

Cayetano also denied allegations of corruption in the P6-billion budget for the SEA Games, adding that he can take a lie detector test when he faces Senate inquiry.

Panelo's own interpretation

According to Cayetano, President Rodrigo Duterte directed him to continue doing his job despite issues surrounding the sports event.

"I was sent word and he (Duterte) said to just continue and just do your job. He is updated," Cayetano said.

Cayetano also countered the statement of presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo that PHISGOC should perform better services amidst complaints of foreign athletes on transporation, accommodation, food and other logistical concerns.

"That wasn't the message to me by the president. Secretary Panelo says his own interpretation or his own words," Cayetano said.

Panelo, on the other hand, said criticisms on how PHIGOC handled the logistics of the event should be accepted and considered to rectify errors.

"The critics have a point. There is indeed something wrong with the preparations," Panelo said.

The Malacañang mouthpiece welcomed the intent of the Senate to conduct an inquiry into the issues that hounded the hosting of the SEA Games.

The Office of the President will also be conducting a separate investigation into the "aberrations and irregularities" of the country's hosting of the event after the games.

"In the meanwhile, let the games to continue without the attendant raucous bashing. Our local athletes deserve our support. Let us welcome our foreign guests with the kind of warm hospitality we are known for," Panelo said. — with reports from Edu Punay

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