Palace: Duterte ‘not pleased’ with SEA Games hosting

Arianne Merez and Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 26 2019 09:46 PM | Updated as of Nov 26 2019 11:25 PM

MANILA (UPDATED)—President Rodrigo Duterte is "not pleased" to hear about numerous complaints linked to the Philippines' hosting of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, his spokesman said Tuesday.

Duterte wants an investigation into allegations of incompetence and corruption in relation to the handling of the Games, presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said.

"The President is not pleased of what he’s been hearing about certain snafu, certain delays, certain allegations of athletes not being fed properly, athletes arriving late or not on time delivered to their places of rest or residence. He’s displeased. Ayaw niya ‘yon," Panelo told reporters in Busan, South Korea.

"There were allegations of fraud na lumalabas sa diyaryo, ayaw niya rin 'yon. He wants to investigate that. Hindi uubra sa kaniya ang corruption," he added.

Duterte arrived in Manila on Tuesday night.

A surge of criticism has been reported by foreign delegates, who mentioned problems they encountered regarding transportation, accommodation and food.

Malacanang confirmed that the investigation would include House Speaker and Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (Phisgoc) chair Alan Peter Cayetano, as the President ordered those at fault to be held accountable.

“Siguro kasama na lahat 'yon kasi when you investigate a particular body kasama na lahat ‘yong kung sino involved dun,” he said.

Panelo, however, said that the President would not summon Cayetano anytime soon, saying that he had already made clear his explanations on the matter.

“Hindi na kailangan na ano kasi I think Speaker Alan has started explaining already. He issued a statement on allegations on irregularities even in the issue of cauldron, nage-explain naman siya,” Panelo said.

Malacanang questioned why there were "snafus" with the handling of the Games when the organizers should have been well-prepared.

“Gaya ng sinabi ko noon, as host country we will apologize for the inconvenience. Those are unintentional. But as for the organizers, these things could have been properly done, organized and that could have been avoided,” Panelo said.

“It's not a good example of how a country should host. We should learn from that mistake,” he added.

Earlier in the day, Sen. Christopher Lawrence "Bong" Go said the President was "very concerned" with the welfare of foreign athletes who would 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.)