Why was the Speaker in charge of SEAG?
Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano was front and center at the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.
The Speaker, whose official function is to shepherd congressmen to pass the annual national budget and laws, offered excuses and apologies to the delegations from Timor Leste, Myanmar, Thailand and Cambodia for shortcomings such as three-hour waits at the airport, cramped transport to hotels, and hotel rooms that were not ready, among others.
He did not apologize to the Philippine women’s football team who complained over the “kikiam” breakfast served to them.
The Speaker was reportedly in charge of finance in the SEA Games.
When Sen. Franklin Drilon questioned the exorbitance of the Games budget, including the P55-million cauldron — money that could have been better spent for classrooms nationwide — the Speaker compared apples and oranges when he said the Aquino administration had spent P10 billion for hosting the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Manila in 2015. He also said he was ready to answer all the complaints after the SEA Games.
At the closing rites, he could have simply said “I declare the 30th SEA Games closed.” Instead, he made a political pitch aimed at the Filipino audience.
This is the first time a Speaker had something to do with the SEA Games.
What is wrong with this picture?
JOSE J. FERRER JR.
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