He said Cayetano, who is also chairman of the private entity that organized the athletic event, would also be investigated because his office cannot be selective.
STAR/File
Palace says Cayetano enjoys right to be presumed innocent
Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - December 11, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano enjoys the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, Malacañang maintained yesterday, after the Office of the Ombudsman said the lawmaker would be covered by its probe on the issues that hounded the Philippines’ hosting of the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.

Last Monday, Ombudsman Samuel Martires revealed he has formed a seven-member fact-finding panel that would look into how the SEA Games funds were spent. He said Cayetano, who is also chairman of the private entity that organized the athletic event, would also be investigated because his office cannot be selective.

Malacañang sees nothing wrong in the motu propio act, with presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo saying the anti-graft office is just reacting to reports of supposed irregularities committed by the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC).

“That is the task of the ombudsman. It can initiate on its own or motu propio to investigate any complaint of irregularities even without a complainant complaining before it,” Panelo said yesterday, noting that even Cayetano welcomed the move.

Pressed if the Speaker still enjoys the trust and confidence of the President, he said that Duterte, as a lawyer, would weigh accusations based on evidence. – With Christina Mendez

ALAN PETER CAYETANO SEA GAMES
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