Duterte vows scrutiny of SEA Games hosting

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DAVAO CITY — President Rodrigo Roa Duterte assured the public of a thorough investigation on the recent woes surrounding the country’s hosting of the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.

In an interview with the media Thursday, the President said he may have to form a task force composed of retired Commission on Audit (COA) auditors, lawyers, and prosecutors for the investigation.

“If I have to investigate, I will take in people who have retired from the COA and some lawyers, some prosecutors. ‘Yung iba, ‘yung mga fraternity brothers ko,” the President said.

He also said that the Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee Chair and House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano would have to answer to problems that the hosting is currently facing, noting however that he is sure Cayetano is not involved in corruption.

The President pointed out that “lack of foresight” of the organizing team may have contributed to the predicament that the country’s hosting is facing.

If he had options, he said he would have designated former military officials to act as planners to handle the events.

“They are better organizers because the entire Armed Forces is one big organization and they are trained to be structural in thinking,” the President said of the military officials.

Duterte also expressed opposition to the proposal of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to suspend classes in Metro Manila during the SEA Games.

Here is the transcription of the President’s statement:

Ganito ‘yan eh. ‘Yung mga athletes from other countries dadating ng ganitong oras. And there are people — their volunteers are paid, tasked to meet them at the airport. That is — correct diyan. Problem is kung hindi dumating, do not abandon the entire “journey. Kasi ‘yung iba late ang flight, delayed, whatever.

The traffic in Manila — hindi maka-landing kaagad ‘yang mga eroplano because there are so many planes. Iisa lang ang airport eh. So sometimes they go around in the sky wasting gasoline just to wait for your time slot to make a landing. So kaya ‘yung nag-ano doon, nag…

‘Yung task na salubungin mo, kung hindi dumating, then you ask what time is it coming in? You should not abandon that particular duty because if they are coming, they are sure to come, hintayin mo o tanungin mo kung kailan dadating. But you do not entirely abandon your work just because they do not arrive on time.

Kaya ‘yan ang hindi ko nakikita na ano —n‘yung anomaly. Well, if it is a — just a small thing, fine. I agree with — I pity… There are so many things to consider.

Pero ‘yung iba… So if there’s the money there, what happened to the money? You should give them allowance because if it — the plane does not come on time, they have to eat and wait there. Sana hintayin mo. Huwag mo sabihin na iwanan mo. Eh ngayon dumating. Saan sila pupunta?

Kaya next time itong mga ganun, the military will handle it. Kasi ang military structural. Pagka ganun walang dumating, sabihin, “O sige ikaw assign diyan.”

Itong mga ganito should be handled by military men. Not because… Well they are better organizers because the entire Armed Forces is one big organization and they are trained to be structural in thinking.”

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