‘Politically motivated’? Cayetano reacts to civil complaint linked to SEA Games audit report

Manolo Pedralvez

Posted at Nov 13 2020 07:55 PM

‘Politically motivated’? Cayetano reacts to civil complaint linked to SEA Games audit report 1
Former PHISGOC chairman Alan Peter Cayetano believes a civil suit in connection with the failure by SEA Games organizers to submit an audit report is “politically motivated”. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News/file

Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano, the former chairperson of the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee, on Wednesday said he was “open” to let the Philippine Olympic Committee join the auditing of the PHISGOC’s financial statements over its handling of the 30th Southeast Asian Games.

“Pakitang tao lang ’yun, kung ’yung records lang ang gusto nila, if they want to join the audit, sumama sila sa auditor na mag-line by line. (It is just for show, if it is only the records that they want, they can send someone to the auditor and look at it line by line),” Cayetano said.

The Taguig-Pateros congressman made the remarks during the turnover of the bookbound, 300-page PHISGOC SEA Games report to Philippine Olympic Committee president Rep. Bambol Tolentino by PHISGOC Foundation Inc. president and chief operating officer Ramon “Tats” Suzara at the Taguig City satellite office at the SM Aura mall.

The “they” Cayetano was referring to were the 7 members of the POC Executive Board who filed a civil complaint last Tuesday for PHISGOC’S alleged failure to abide by the agreement it signed with the POC and the Philippine Sports Commission on Aug. 15, 2019, on their respective roles during the 30th SEA Games.

Signing the agreement were Suzara, Tolentino on behalf of the POC, and PSC chairman William “Butch” Ramirez.

This agreement was required so the P6 billion in national government funds would be released for running the sportsfest that ended on Dec. 11, 2019.

Filing the complaint were POC chairman Steve Hontiveros, first vice president Joey Romasanta, second vice president Col. (ret.) Jeff Tamayo, treasurer Julian Camacho, auditor Jonne Go and board members Robert Mananquil and Atty. Clint Aranas of the billiards and snooker, and archery national federations, respectively.

Named the lone respondent in the civil suit was Suzara. 

The case was filed after PHISGOC failed to submit the SEA Games report, including the audited financial statements, as instructed by the POC general assembly during its resolution of Sept. 30 with Oct. 10 as the deadline for its submission. 

It was also the result of the 13-member POC board’s decision of Oct. 30 in taking PHISGOC to court so it would be compelled to produce the financial statements.

‘Politically motivated’? Cayetano reacts to civil complaint linked to SEA Games audit report 2
Hampered by the pandemic, SEA Games organizers couldn’t complete their audit report on time, Cayetano said. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/file

‘Complaint bound to fail’ 

“Prepare the TV cameras kasi sobrang mapapahiya ’yung mga nagpa-file. (Prepare the TV cameras because those who filed the case are in for an embarrassment.) I don’t know where they got their advice because I’m a lawyer,” Cayetano said.

“The case is for specific performance, ibig sabihin ng specific performance, may kontrata (which means that there is a contract). Halimbawa, bumili ka ng kotse sa akin, hindi ko idine-deliver ’yung kotse sa’yo (for example, you buy a car from me and I fail to deliver the car to you) so you file a civil case for specific performance, which is for me to deliver the car,” Cayetano said. 

“Ang kaso nila is for us to deliver the audited financial accounts or records (Their case is for us to deliver the audited financial accounts or records). They wrote us, we wrote them back na ongoing pa (we wrote them back that it is still ongoing. 

“Kasi nga nagkandaipit-ipit because of many reasons, including COVID (the report was delayed because of many reasons, including COVID). And because nga naipit ’yung ibang sponsors dahil dito sa black propaganda and our auditors are already on it. We gave them a date. (And because the other sponsors were caught because of this black propaganda, and our auditors are already on it.”

‘Politically motivated’? Cayetano reacts to civil complaint linked to SEA Games audit report 3
One national sports official said he has not seen an audit report of the 2019 SEA Games since the event concluded in December 2019. Czar Dancel, ABS-CBN News/file

‘Politically motivated’

Cayetano said he believed that the auditing company that PHISGOC contracted would be able to finish the SEA Games audit even before a hearing on the case is set, adding that this was “politically motivated.”

“Actually, mauunahan pa, I don’t know when and if the court will set a hearing, but by the time mag-set ng hearing, tapos na ’yung audit, nasa kanila na. (Actually the audit will be finished ahead. I don’t know when and if the court will set a hearing, but I believe by the time of the hearing, the audit will be over. The audit will be with them,” Cayetano said. 

“Kita mo, pati ’yung oras ng korte ngayon, punung-puno mga korte natin, maraming importante, inaksaya pa nila. Why? Because they just filed it because may eleksyon sa end of the month ang POC. (See, with the courts filled these days with many important cases they wasted the courts’ time. Why? They just filed it because the POC has an election at the end of this month).”

Tolentino, who is running for reelection, is going up against World Archery Philippines president Aranas in the Nov. 27 POC polls.

The POC chief went on record that he did not vote for the Sept. 30 POC general assembly resolution and opposed the filing of the suit against PHISGOC.

“Hindi nila puwedeng gamitin na POC ang nag-file ng PHISGOC, ’yun lang 7 including Steve (Hontiveros) na member din ng PHISGOC . . . Walang authority from general assembly (the 7 board members cannot use the POC to file a case against PHISGOC, only the 7, including Steve, who is also a member of PHISGOC. They had no authority from the general assembly,” Tolentino said in the same press conference last Wednesday. 

“Sa general assembly, it’s just a demand letter to PHISGOC to submit financial record, not to file a case definitely (for the general assembly, it’s just a demand letter for PHISGOC to submit financial record (sic), not to file a case definitely),” Tolentino added.

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Squash chief Robert Bachmann said there was nothing political about the case since “PHISGOC failed to provide regular financial reports since the tripartite agreement was signed. How can they ignore this?”

“We’ve been complaining about PHISGOC since 9 months after we discovered that it had been incorporated without the knowledge of the Executive Board. No contracts, no compensation, no financial revenues were submitted,” said Bachmann, who was the POC Membership Commission head during the term of POC president Ricky Vargas.

Suzara and Vargas, the POC president then, are incorporators of PHISGOC Foundation Inc., which was formed without the POC board’s authorization, as attested by its April 30, 2019 resolution, Bachmann recalled.

He reiterated that under the POC constitution and by-laws, the board was vested with the authority in filing the case since Article VIII, Section 2 states that the “Executive Board may deal with all questions of interest to the POC.” 

“On the matter of Cayetano’s claim that the civil case for specific performance filed by the POC is for PHISGOC to deliver the audited financial accounts or records. The contract referred to is the Tripartite Agreement between the POC, PSC, and PHISGOC,” Bachman said. 

“Did PHISGOC comply with all the provisions under the Tripartite Agreement? I don’t believe so. The submission of audited financial statements is just one of the many duties and responsibilities of the PHISGOC in the Tripartite Agreement,” Bachman said.

“Have they fully complied with the other provisions in the Agreement? No.”

Possible PHISGOC violations

In the complaint, mentioned among the PHISGOC Foundation Inc.’s possible violations, which are contained in the agreement, are:

  • Submit the required financial and physical status reports to PSC and furnish a copy to the POC as required by existing rules and regulations.
  •  Ensure that any financial support granted by PSC will not be used for money market placement, time deposit and other forms of investment not related to the hosting of the 30th Southeast Asian Games.
  •  Submit to the POC the programs, timeline and budget allocations for preparations, organization and execution of the hosting of the 30th SEA Games.
  •  Submit to the PSC and POC the required financial reports and make available all records and documents, including disbursement vouchers, relative to the utilization of funds.
  • After the completion of the project, submit to PSC and POC financial statements, certificate of project completion and acceptance, and other documents as required under existing laws and government rules and regulations.
  •  Disclose and submit reports/records of all funds from private sponsors intended to be used for the preparation and execution of the hosting of the SEA Games as required by existing laws and government rules and regulations.