SEAG over, let the squabbles begin
TO THE QUICK - Jerry Tundag (Agence France-Presse) - December 13, 2019 - 12:00am

The Southeast Asian Games are over. The Philippines, as expected, is the overall champion for only the second time in the history of this regional sporting competition. Congratulations are, therefore, in order not only for our winning athletes who gave the country a medal haul that could sink a less-worthy ship, but also to those who did not make it to the podium but gave it their all nevertheless.

I would also like to congratulate myself for successfully holding my mouth for the duration of the games in deference to the need of our athletes to concentrate on their respective bids for glory without also having to contend with the distractive noise from the ceaseless internal squabbling that best characterizes daily life in this country.

The last article I had that had anything to do with the games came out days before the formal opening and it dealt with the disdainful style of sports reporting done by certain members of the Philippines media who gave the country the virtual championship long before even the foreign delegations started arriving. Now, however, the chicks have hatched and we can exult, brag, or fall into a stupor as the facts now all support our glee.

So, with the SEAG over, let the squabbles begin. Right off the bat, the Office of the Ombudsman said it will be investigating possible anomalies in the use of funds to host the games. Go ahead, sirs. With billions spent to bankroll the entire spectacle, it is difficult to imagine nobody made a killing in the sidelines.

The International Criminal Court said it will investigate President Duterte and his drug war. Go ahead, your honors, and see how far your agenda can go against Duterte, who you confuse with his drug war. Duterte is a politician with oligarchic enemies who bristle at being beaten by a probinsyano and who cannot wait to return to power. His drug war, on the other hand, and bloody though it may be, has the support of the vast majority of Filipinos.

Vice President Robredo, who cannot determine for her own self her own capabilities and limitations and thus would swallow hook, line, and sinker what her sycophants would tell her to her face, is set to disclose, if she has not done so already, what she supposedly discovered in her two-week stint as drug czar. Go ahead, Maam, test your credibility against what your sycophants have prepared for you.

And as fellow columnist Josephus Jimenez correctly pointed out, it is time to bang certain heads together for spending so much time, money and effort to ensure our athletes bring home the golds in sports but doing practically nothing to prevent our students from laying big fat eggs and finishing dead last in reading comprehension, math, and science in an international assessment of students.

As for Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte lashing at the SEAG opening song "Manila," she is absolutely correct. Whoever had a hand in choosing that divisive song should be hanged from the flagpole at Luneta. The slogan "We Win as One" was, btw, nonsensical. Of course we win as one. Everyone loves a winner. Losing as one would have been more apt. The real unifier, I think, would be surfer Roger Casugay. But for lack of space, Google him.

SOUTHEAST ASIAN GAMES
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