Opposition Senator Leila de Lima on Friday backed calls from the members of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) seeking an audited financial statement on the expenses during the 30th Southeast Asian Games last year.
De Lima made the statement after learning from reports that the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC), led by former Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, “has not reported or accounted for any of the monies spent and earned in the biennial competition.”
“Until now, one year after the country’s hosting of the biennial competition, the Filipino public is still left in the dark with regards to how PHISGOC spent billions on last year’s Southeast Asian Games,” she said.
“We need to know how such big amount of money was spent, as well as the possible accountability of PHISGOC officials. We cannot simply ignore possible corruption and incompetence when they happen right in front of our very noses,” she added.
Recently, POC reportedly bared its readiness to press legal charges against PHISGOC after the latter failed to come up with a financial report during the country’s hosting of the 30th Southeast Asian Games.
To date, PHISGOC has yet to present its financial report to the POC, which includes the revenues generated from ticket sales, merchandises, broadcast rights and private fund gained from local and international sponsorships.
Apparently, the liquidation of SEA Games funds was extended until last Oct. 10, but PHISGOC chairman and former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and chief operating officer Ramon “Tats” Suzara reportedly brushed it off and still failed to comply.
“Gusto nating malaman kung paano ginagastos ang pondong inilaan sa bawat proyekto ng gobyerno, lalong lalo na ang mga naiulat nang may bahid ng katiwalian,” De Lima said.
“Siyempre, gusto nating tukuyin, para hindi na maulit pa, kung may mga kababalaghang nangyari o may mamahaling kaldero na na namang ginastusan na wala namang naitulong sa kapakanan at pangangailangan ng taumbayan,” she said.
“Kaya simula pa lang, itinutulak na natin ang imbestigasyon ukol dito. Kung wala silang itinatago, dapat matagal na nilang idinetalye ang kanilang gastos,” added De Lima.