Malacañang on Tuesday said Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano would be held responsible for any irregularities in the country’s hosting of the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.
A day after Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon questioned the allotment of P55 million for the installation of the SEA Games giant cauldron, Palace spokesman Salvador Panelo
said the public should give Cayetano a chance to explain the controversial allotment.
“Speaker Alan is accountable to all that relates to the SEA Games. Kung ano ang bulilyaso doon, syempre, dahil siya ang nagpapatakbo doon, accountable siya (Whatever irregularities there are of course, he’s the one who is accountable),” Panelo told reporters.
“Meanwhile, let’s not prejudge. It’s very easy to accuse. Tignan muna natin kung ano ba
ang puno’t dulo niyan (Let’s see where the issue will lead us),” he added.
Cayetano is the chairman of the Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee.
On Monday, Drilon questioned the building of the “extravagant” cauldron, saying it was unnecessary.
He said the P55 million used to build the cauldron could have been used to build 56 classrooms.
The senator called on the Commission on Audit to conduct a special audit on the funds used to build the structure and other SEA Games facilities.
Work of art
Cayetano, however, claimed the cauldron was a work of art.
“It is not just an ordinary structure, but a monument; it’s a work of art and permanent, that’s the main symbol of the game,” he said.
He added that the cauldron was not the most expensive in SEA Games history.
“Singapore had invested P62 million cauldron four years ago,” Cayetano said.
He explained that the cauldron at the New Clark City will need fuel for 11 days after it is lit on November 30, the official opening of the games.
Cayetano, Philippine Olympic Committee President Abraham Tolentino, Philippine Sports Commission Chairman William Ramirez and other sports officials attended the Senate hearing on Tuesday that looked into the expenses allotted to the Games.
With a reports from JOSEF T. RAMOS