PH Olympic body hopes to settle SEA Games hosting dispute with Cayetano group


Posted at Jun 20 2019 08:19 PM | Updated as of Jun 20 2019 11:36 PM

Despite the conflicting sides digging their heels in a dispute over who should organize the SEA Games, the POC said it hopes to meet with Congressman Alan Peter Cayetano's group to "iron out" their differences. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

The upcoming 30th Southeast Asian Games will push on as planned, despite a rift between the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) and the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (Phisgoc) Foundation Inc.

The POC and the Phisgoc have each claimed to be the legitimate organizer the SEA Games, which will be held at New Clark City in Tarlac and several other venues, on November 30 to December 11.

In an interview with DZMM on Thursday, Atty. Clint Jesus Aranas, executive board member of the POC, said the feud between the 2 organizations will not deter the country's hosting.

"Confident kami na this (feud) will not affect the outcome of the sports (event). Ang paghahanda ng mga atleta is the same. Walang problema," Aranas said, adding that a failure to set up the Games will not only reflect badly on the organizers but also on the country.

"Gusto talaga namin matuloy 'to. Ayaw namin madelay, gusto namin matuloy 'to kasi kahihiyan ng bayan to (kapag hindi natuloy)."

Aranas said the POC is the rightful organizer of the Games and should be in charge of managing it. 

"Dapat the management and the conduct of the Games should be left with POC because we are the franchise holder of the SEA Games. Bilang franchise holder, may pananagutan kami sa nag-issue ng franchise, (which is) the International Olympic Committee," Aranas said, echoing the sentiment of POC president Joey Romasanta.

Aranas said the POC hopes to sort out differences with the Phisgoc in a meeting with Congressman-elect Alan Peter Cayetano, chairman of Phisgoc.

"We're hoping for a meeting by Monday with Congressman Cayetano to iron out our differences para ma-unify (kami), kasi we're already committed to this one (SEA Games). Hindi kailangan pag-awayan. I think there is a misunderstanding of rules lang," he said.

The POC has repeatedly stressed that it does not recognize the Phisgoc, claiming it to be a "totally different body than the original Phisgoc they had formed," under former POC president Jose Cojuangco Jr.

Cayetano, however, claimed "there's only one organizing committee, and there's only one juridical entity, which is Phisgoc."

"SEA Games Federation ang may-ari nito," he said. "Hindi ito pagma-may-ari ng IOC or POC. Under the rules ng SEA Games, may role ang POC, sila ang mamimili ng organizing committee. May napili sila, which is Phisgoc."

"Walang bawian 'yan," Cayetano said. 

For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.