PACC to look into SEA Games issues if complaint is filed

MANILA The Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) is ready to investigate the issues plaguing the Philippines' hosting of the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, the head of the anti-corruption body said on Tuesday.

PACC chairperson Dante Jimenez said there will be an immediate investigation into the supposed blunders hounding the SEA Games, once a complaint is lodged before his office.

We'll see if there are complaints, if there are some concerns. Anything under the sun. We are ready to look into whether there is really a probable cause and worth really conducting a fact-finding investigation and formal charges, Jimenez told state media in an interview.

Anyone can complain. Basta makita naming merong (If we see that there is) factual evidence and it's worth it, we will proceed, he added.

International football teams have aired concerns over transportation, accommodations, and other logistics prior to the formal opening of the SEA Games on November 30.

On Sunday, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo warned the Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee (Phisgoc) that it will be held accountable, if participating athletes once again experience inconvenience during the competitions that will be held from November 30 to December 11.

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon earlier questioned the PHP50 million spent for the construction of cauldron that will bear the symbolic SEA Games, calling it extravagance.

He is also seeking Senate inquiry into SEA Games hosting.

'Silent motu proprio' probe eyed

While a complaint has yet to be filed, Jimenez said the PACC may launch a motu proprio (on its own) investigation into the supposed mistakes committed by SEA Games organizers.

Jimenez, however, still acknowledged the need for any complainant to formally lodge a case against those who are responsible for the SEA Games woes.

Well in a way yes, siguro (perhaps) silently, the PACC chair said, when quizzed if his office will conduct a motu proprio investigation.

Actually, honestly, I'm still studying 'yung mga naghahandle ng (those who are handling) SEA Games. Palipasin muna natin 'tong games na 'to pero (Let's wait for the conclusion of the games but) we're open to receiving complaints, Jimenez added.

Jimenez said anyone is welcome to file a complaint with supporting documents that would prove any irregularities in the Philippines' hosting of SEA Games.

They have to be brave enough to open and submit any complaints to us, he said.

But we need of course more concrete ones like affidavit, mga evidence, mga complaint, mga ganoon ba (affidavit, evidence, complaint, and the likes). Hindi namin kailangan na manghula-hula lang. Sinabi ni newspaper ganito, sinabi ng tang ito. Hindi pwedeng ganoon (We don't need to guess based on newspaper's report and a person's claim. That's not acceptable), he added.

Meanwhile, Jimenez said the PACC would wait for the conclusion of the 30th SEA Games before acting on the issue.

Siguro palipasin muna. Para bang ano iyan eh, pagbigyan natin muna ang ating mga athletes to perform well, pagdasal natin (Perhaps, we'll wait for its conclusion. Let's give the athletes some time to perform well. Let's pray for them), he said.

On Saturday, President Rodrigo Duterte wished the athletes luck in the 2019 SEA Games, a biennial regional multi-sport event.

An estimated 8,750 athletes from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, Timor Leste, Singapore, and Vietnam will compete in 530 events in 56 sports.

The sports competitions will take place at the newly-build New Clark City Sports Hub in Capas, Tarlac; Subic, Zambales; Laguna, Batangas, Tagaytay, Imus, and Metro Manila particularly at the newly-renovated Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.

The Philippines will field 1,085 athletes, hoping to improve its dismal sixth place performance in the last 2017 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency