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Cayetano on P55M ‘kaldero’: ‘Every time tirahin ni Drilon, tumataas ang presyo’

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House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on Thursday hit back at critics of the P55 million cauldron to be used for the torch-lighting ceremony at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, boldly predicting that the “work of art” would at least double in value after the sports meet.

Cayetano, who chairs the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (Phisgoc), again defended the 50-meter structure designed by the late National Artist Francisco “Bobby” Mañosa.

“I bet you next year or after the game, kung ibebenta natin ‘yan, kung P100 million, may bibili e. But why would we sell it? It’s priceless. Pero, kung titignan mo ‘yung kalahati ng tao na sculpture ngayon, P3 million, P5 million,” he said at an event in Taguig City.

“E ito nakita mo naman historic value and it’s the last work of Francisco ‘Bobby’ Mañosa,” he said.

“As I’ve said, after the games, you don’t think it’s worth it, even if I think it’s priceless and many in the art world and in the architectural work agree, ibenta natin, may bibili d’yan,” Cayetano said.

He pointed to Senator Frank Drilon and former President Noynoy Aquino as among those who had been attacking the steep cost of the cauldron.

“Every time tirahin ni Senator Drilon, tumataas ang presyo niyan, kasi nalalaman ng tao na huling obra ng napakagaling na national artist,” he said.

“Kasi makikita mo sinabi ni Senator Drilon, ‘Ceasefire muna para sa atleta. We support the athletes.’ Wala naman… hindi naman ako cinonfront nung hearing. After the hearing, binira kami sa media,” he said.

“Kahapon, Pangulong Aquino, binira kami. ‘Yung mga kakampi nila, sa Facebook, sabayan tumitira,” he said.

Cayetano said Drilon even fell victim to fake news when he wrongly identified Mañosa as the father-in-law of Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) president Vivencio “Vince” Dizon, who led the construction of the SEA Games’ main venue in Capas, Tarlac.

“Tapos, ngayong umaga, magpapa-interview, nakuryente pa tuloy, dahil mali ‘yung impormasyon niya na son-in-law ang (BCDA) president,” the Speaker said.

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