No truth to the allegation of corruption -- Ramirez on SEA Games

ABS-CBN Sports on Jul 19, 2019 08:59 PM
No truth to the allegation of corruption -- Ramirez
We assure the athletes and the general public that all decisions and transactions will be done with utmost transparency -- Philippine Sports Commission chairman Butch Ramirez

Philippine Sports Commission chairman Butch Ramirez on Friday denied the allegations that the country’s preparation for the hosting of the 30th Southeast Asian Games has been tainted by corruption.

“There is no truth to the allegation of corruption,” said Ramirez in a statement. “Yesterday, Cong. Alan Peter Cayetano, and myself sat down with Sen. Bong Go and Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea to sort out issues being reported by news outfits in the past days.”

Reports earlier this week surfaced that President Rodrigo Duterte is taking the embattled Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (Phisgoc) Foundation, Inc., a private body that aimed to organize the 30th SEA Games, out of commission and will be subjected to investigation due to alleged corruption and other irregularities.

Ramirez cleared that all transactions made regarding the buildup for the biennial meet are met with ‘utmost transparency’.

“We assure the athletes and the general public that all decisions and transactions will be done with utmost transparency,” he said.

“The PSC, through the guidance of the Department of Budget Management and assistance of the Procurement Service shall work together to ensure that public funds are protected and that all disbursements or expenses follow existing government rules and laws.”

A unity meeting to form a cohesive team for the country’s final push in the preparations of regional meet has been set.

Ramirez, the chef de mission of Team Philippines, said all national sports associations that will participate in the coming Games and their athletes are invited during the gathering scheduled July 24 at the Malacanang Palace.

The top brass of the Phisgoc and the PSC are also enjoined to attend the meeting to pledge their cooperation and all-out support to the entire organization of hosting the 11-nation sportsfest.

“If we want to win as one, we should embrace a united front,” said Ramirez after attending the meeting with Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Senator Bong Go, Taguig City Congressman Alan Peter Cayetano and Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Thursday in Malacanang.

“One team, one goal. The country should come together and be united in supporting this government effort,” added Ramirez, who led Team Philippines to its first overall title in SEA Games during the 2005 Manila hosting.

Each national sports association has been tasked to bring along five athletes during the 10:00 a.m. Malacanang assembly.

A total of 57 sports will be played during the Nov. 30-Dec. 11 Games to be held in three main clusters—Metro Manila, New Clark City and Subic.

Ramirez has expressed high hopes that the meeting will encourage officials of the Phisgoc, POC and the PSC to move in one direction with four months to go before the biggest multi-sports event in the Asean region unfolds.

Medialdea, Go and Cayetano, who also sits as chairman of Phisgoc, are expected to attend the gathering where at least 300 sports officials and athletes will be present.

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