PH gold medal haul in 2019 SEAG not tied to corruption

Published November 14, 2020, 5:13 PM

by Mario Casayuran

The 149 gold medal haul of the Philippines in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games has no relation to any allegation of corruption in the construction of a multi-billion peso sports facility for the biennial sports competition.

Senator Richard Gordon (Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Sen. Richard J. Gordon said this as he said his Senate Blue Ribbon Committee might begin its probe on the matter late this month or early December when there is a lull in current Senate floor debate on proposed 2021 P4.5-trillion national budget.

The Senate leadership referred to Gordon’s committee and the Senate sports committee of Sen. Bong Go the privilege speech of Sen. Risa Hontiveros that the Senate should investigate the questionable construction of the SEAG sports facility in a joint undertaking by the Bases Conversion Authority (BCDA) and a Malaysian firm.

Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III, himself an athlete, said the matter is best investigated by the Office of the Ombudsman.

Sen. Pia S, Cayetano, also an athlete, also asked aloud why there is a Senate probe although Filipino athletes placed first again with 149 gold medals, 36 higher than the SEAG in 2005.

“’Yung medalya training ‘yun. pero kung may kuraspyon ‘yung paggawa, dapat managot ‘yung dapat managot. Ang tingin ko open pa ako diyan, wala pa naman akong sinasabi dapat managot ang kahit na sino,’’ Gordon said.
(The medals are the result of training, corruption is committed. Those liable should be held to account. I think I am open to an investigation. I have not identified those to be held liable)

Gordon, however, expressed exasperation at the lukewarm attitude of government on findings and recommendations by Senate committees on probes they have undertaken.

He cited the recent irregularities at the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) which lost a big amount of money. He cited his recent probe where members of his committee did not sign his committee report.