By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
Malacañang expressed confidence that Filipino athletes will shine in the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, which start next week, despite the controversy surrounding the Philippines’ hosting of the event.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo made the statement as the public criticized the amount spent for the construction of the P45-million symbolic cauldron.
In an interview, Panelo said that the bickering would unlikely affect the performance of the Filipino athletes who will compete in the SEA Games.
“Politika lang ‘yan. Bakit naman maaapektuhan? Ano ba’ng connection naman? Wala naman corruption (It’s just politics and there’s no connection. There’s no corruption) that will affect the integrity of the games,” he said.
“It will be different kung ang anomalya mo yung mga judges na pinili mo diyan, merong bilihan diyan. Yun ang problema. Pero yung cauldron, symbolism lang naman (if the allegations raised concern the chosen judges, if the games are rigged. That’s the problem. But the cauldron is just a symbolism),” he added.
Panelo also expressed that the Filipino athletes will shine on their own and hoped that the country will score more gold medals than in the previous years.
“Ang gagaling ng mga athletes natin ngayon, palaging naggo-gold ah. Baka naman this is our time to rise, time to shine (We have good athletes. They are gold medalists. Maybe this is now our time to rise, time to shine),” he said.
“We hope to get more medals. We hope to have more gold medals. That is our wish,” he added.
“Sabi ng mga athlete na nanalo, okay daw, eh. Tingnan natin (Our athletes said we have a chance. Let’s see). Let’s wish them luck,” he continued.
Meanwhile, Panelo also addressed the statement of Senator Imee Marcos that Filipino athletes better win in the SEA Games because of the amount spent for the hosting of the event.
“Doesn’t follow. Malabo naman yung logic niya (That’s illogical),” he said.