Duterte back in Manila as PH draws criticism over SEA Games hosting

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 26 2019 07:34 PM | Updated as of Nov 26 2019 09:24 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte arrives at the Villamor Airbase in Pasay City on Nov. 26, 2019. Photo courtesy of Sen. Bong Go

MANILA- President Rodrigo Duterte returned to the Philippines from South Korea on Tuesday night just as the country drew criticism over its hosting of the 30th Southeast Asian Games.

Malacañang said Duterte arrived at the Villamor Airbase in Pasay City at 6:17 p.m. after joining other Southeast Asian leaders in a summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in the Korean port city of Busan.

Fresh from his South Korea trip, Duterte tested a motorcycle with his son, Davao City Rep. Paolo Duterte in Bahay ng Pagbabago at the Malacañang complex.

Earlier in the day, Duterte's former aide Sen. Christopher "Bong" Go said the President is "very concerned" with the welfare of foreign athletes who will participate in the Games.

"Si Pangulo very concerned siya sa mga ganu'n, lalo na po ngayon nakasalalay ang pangalan ng bansa," Go told radio DZMM.

(The President is very concerned with the way visitors are being treated, especially since the country's reputation is at stake.)

While the Games have yet to open formally, foreign athletes and journalists have already complained of several problems in relation to the Philippines hosting of the event.

Among the problems pointed out by foreign media are inadequate food, poor accommodation, and transportation woes.

Malacañang earlier promised participants of the biennial games a "pleasant, productive, and memorable" time as it apologized to athletes who encountered problems.

"As host country, we apologize for the unintentional inconvenience suffered by our athlete-guests," Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said on Sunday.