MANILA - Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Monday hit back at critics of the supposed pre-recorded lighting ceremony of the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.
Sotto cited the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics taped segment that featured Queen Elizabeth.
"Walang umangal. Dito sa atin reklamo ang mga epal bakit daw hiwalay at recorded 'yung lighting ni Manny," he said.
"I will not be surprised if these people are praying that we do not win!"
The senator said detractors have gone out of line for criticizing performers such as Ryan Cayabyab, Jimmy Antiporda, Eloisa Matias, as well as the group that directed the opening ceremony of the London Olympics who also had a hand in Saturday's SEA Games ceremonies.
"Sumobra na dunong ng mga pintasero," he said.
Organizers earlier said the lighting ceremony was "real" but left the details up to the director and production crew.
"They would be in the best position to explain the production and technical consideration whether or not there was a taping happened at the cauldron," said Jarie Osias, spokesman of the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee.
"Assuming it was taped, there was no express prohibition in the ASEAN federation as to the timing of the lighting."