De Lima wants probe into PH’s hosting of 2019 SEA Games

Robie de Guzman   •   December 18, 2019   •   1533

MANILA, Philippines – Detained Senator Leila de Lima on Wednesday said she has filed a resolution seeking an investigation into the alleged irregularities that marred the country’s hosting of the recently concluded 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.  

De Lima filed Senate Resolution No. 274 directing the appropriate Senate committee to conduct an investigation on the reported organizational and administrative problems, as well as possible corruption, which affected the biennial sports meet.

She said reports on organizational problems surrounding the country’s preparation “betray a political dynamic that could translate to even greater problems in our sports programs in the future.”

“As we celebrate our athletes’ most successful campaign in recent memory, it is likewise important for our government to scrutinize our performance both as a host country and as patrons to our athletes,” she said in a statement.

De Lima said that prior to its opening on Nov. 30, the country’s hosting of the SEA Games has been beset by organizational issues, including early troubles with transportation and accommodations of teams from Myanmar, Timor-Leste and Cambodia, accreditation issues and lack of halal food for Singaporean delegation, and even problems with accreditation of media.

She also said that several volunteers for the SEA Games also aired their grievances over the alleged lack of system and coordination.

De Lima likewise noted the criticisms on the allegedly exorbitant 50-meter tall cauldron-type structure, which costs P50 million, for the lighting of the torch.

“Proper management and governance necessitate that we conduct an inquiry on the recently concluded SEA Games, especially after the problems encountered were duly documented by the mass media,” she said.

The lawmaker also underscored the need to scrutinize the organizational structure through which the country hosts international sporting events “to ensure that the funds will be properly given to institutions with the mandate and capability to properly utilize them.

“There is a need to investigate the existing sports legislation to ensure that support and funding are given to the agencies that have the proper mandate and that accountability lies even with private organizations, especially those who have access to government resources,” she said.

“While problems of disorganization, incompetence, and inefficiency can be resolved through institutional mechanisms, what cannot be countenanced is the scandalous probability that in the middle of all this disorganization and incompetence, certain high public officials still might have enriched themselves in the procurement of government contracts for the hosting of the games,” she added.

Officials of the Philippine Sports Commission and the SEA Games organizing committee earlier attributed the delays in the preparation of the biennial meet to the delayed passage of the 2019 national budget.

De Lima slams Duterte for digging up COA findings on DOJ, DILG under Aquino admin

Robie de Guzman   •   August 25, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Leila de Lima on Wednesday clapped back at President Rodrigo Duterte for bringing up old Commission on Audit (COA) reports on the supposed unliquidated funds of agencies that she and former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas respectively handled during the previous administration.

“For someone who cannot even publicly disclose and release his own SALN, Duterte’s accusation against me and Sec. Mar Roxas regarding COA’s past reports on our agencies is just plain rich in irony and hypocrisy,” De Lima said in a statement.

De Lima served as Justice secretary while Roxas led the Department of the Interior and Local Government during the time of the late President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III.

During a public address on Tuesday night, Duterte mentioned De Lima and Roxas who were also reported by COA to have unliquidated cash advance and fund transfers in their respective agencies in 2013 and 2014.

But De Lima said Duterte’s act of raising the issue is “a clear case of misdirection.”

“I challenge Duterte to file cases with the Ombudsman arising from those COA reports. He cannot, because those accounts have long been settled and closed. The COA knows that,” she said.

She also said that neither of them threatened COA for releasing audit reports and that other Cabinet members  of the Aquino administration “always took COA reports seriously, corrected whatever deficiencies were identified in those reports, and acted accordingly to comply with COA recommendations.”

“Hindi kami katulad ng mga ilang tao sa gobyerno ni Duterte na magngangangawngaw sa telebisyon, at lalong hindi katulad ni PNoy si Duterte na pagbabantaan ang COA dahil lamang ginawa nito ang trabaho nila,” she said.

“Walang nagsisigaw sa aming dalawa sa telebisyon na winarak kami ng COA,” she said in an apparent swipe at Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.

COA called out the Department of Health under Duque over alleged deficiencies in the use of its funds for COVID-19 response.

De Lima, a vocal critic of President Rodrigo Duterte, is currently detained over drug-related charges.

Olympians Petecio, Ando enlist in Coast Guard service

Maris Federez   •   August 19, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) has enlisted Tokyo Olympics 2020 Silver Medalist Nesthy Petecio and Olympian Elreen Ann Ando into the Coast Guard service.

A PCG statement said Petecio and Ando took their oath at the National Headquarters, Port Area, Manila on Thursday (August 19) that was witnessed by Department of Transportation (DOTr) Sec. Arthur Tugade.

During his speech, Secretary Tugade expressed his gratitude to Petecio and Ando for applying to become part of the PCG even before they competed at the Tokyo Olympics 2020.

“Nesthy and Elreen, we welcome you in the ring of public service, especially in taking care of the safety and security of the Republic,” Tugade said.

Petty Officer Third Class (PO3) Petecio hailed from Santa Cruz, Davao del Sur. She graduated with a degree in Associate Arts of Hotel and Restaurant Management (AAHRM) at the University of Baguio in May 2019.

Before bagging the silver medal in the Tokyo Olympics, Petecio won the gold medal at the AIBA Women’s World Boxing in 2019 and competed at the Asian Games held in Incheon, South Korea in 2014. She also ranked second in the Women’s Featherweight (57 kilograms) Division at the AIBA World Rankings.

Meanwhile, Apprentice Seawoman (ASW) Ando, a resident of Cebu City, is currently taking up a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Criminology at Cebu University.

Before competing at the Women’s 64 kilograms Weightlifting Division in the Tokyo Olympics, Ando won a silver medal at the Asian Championship held in Uzbekistan early this year and another silver medal at the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games 2019.

PO3 Petecio and ASW Ando will join the Coast Guard Special Service Office (CGSSO) – one of the PCG units at the National Headquarters.

PH team in Tokyo Olympics, SEAGames urged to get COVID-19 jabs on May 28

Marje Pelayo   •   May 26, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) is encouraging all delegates to the upcoming Tokyo Olympics and the South East Asian Games this year to get COVID-19 vaccine shots set for Friday (May 28).

According to POC Chief Abraham Tolentino, they are now coordinating with the National Sports Association for the list of athletes, coaches and other members of the Philippine Team to proceed to the Manila Prince Hotel on Friday for the vaccination.

Tolentino urged the delegation to take advantage of the opportunity and spare themselves the long wait for a vaccination slot in their localities.

“We have the masterlist sa POC pwede na pong i-submit yun para sa Biyernes tuloy tuloy na po yung vaccination nila yung nandito po sa NCR,” he said.

The POC is also working on scheduling the vaccination of athletes who are in the provinces and abroad.

“Iyong announcement ng Vietnam na ‘no-vaccination’ policy, talagang wala kaming magagawa hindi ka makakasama. Kung talagang ayaw magpabakuna hindi naman natin pwedeng pwersahin pero didisisyunan ng NSA na mapapalitan ka kung ayaw mo magpabakuna,” Tolentino said noting that athletes competing in the upcoming international events are also part of the priority list.

He is confident that all concerned will avail of the opportunity.

Aside from the athletes and coaches, sports officials and members of the media who will be covering the sports events are also expected at the vaccination on Friday. MNP (with reports from Bernard Dadis)

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