I stayed silent as I stop my pen from writing a comment to criticize he organizers of the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games which would be held officially from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11 here in the country so as not to inconvenience the training of our athletes and place the government in an embarrassing situation. I closed my eyes on what I’ve read since Day One when many Asean delegations complained of bad services from transportation to hotel accommodation and even food served them.
This is not the first time the Philippines hosted the SEA Games, the last was in 2005, as we first hosted the games in 1981 then 10 years later. So I believe that whatever shortcomings and bad experiences we had then in hosting the games, our public officials must have learned already in hosting a big events like it.
But when Senator Christopher ‘Bong” Go of Davao City warned the SEA Games officials in his privilege speech that he will investigate the ‘kapalpakan’ after the games are over as President Duterte also showed his frustration upon arrival from South Korea where he attended a two-day Asian Summit and promising to look into the matter, I decided to say my piece now because I believed in the saying, “strike when the iron is still hot.”
Pagkatapos ng laro, isa-isa nang mag-aabroad ang mga ‘yan at wala nang maiimbistigahan si Senador!
Congressman Alan Peter Arellano, overall chair of the SEA Games, assured the public that he will take full responsibility for all these bad experiences of foreign athletes and even why some venues for sports activities are yet incomplete even if some games like football at the Rizal Football Stadium are already being played.
There you are Mr. Senator, you can start investigation with the congressman from Rizal, since he already assumed the responsibility on whatever ‘kapalpakan’ that is happening now and until the SEA Games is over.
With billions of pesos of taxpayers’ money allotted in the SEA Games as complaint after complaint from local and foreign athletes are being aired, we only expect money to show up its ugly face.
No less Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chair William “Butch” Ramirez aired his surprise when he said in an interview with CNN Philippines that he never thought that the expenses for the cauldron – which Senator Franklin Drilon called `kaldero’ – had ballooned incredibly.
“Hindi ko alam ganoon talaga kalaki,” he said.
Before I listened to him, but now, no more!
I am referring to Senator Juan Edgardo Angara, who asked critics for a “ceasefire” on the bickering. “We are hosting the games. We should concentrate on this.”
“The negative news about the hosting of the (SEA) Games should also serve as a distraction to our athletes, who should be focusing on their training and events,” he said.
Let the Commission on Audit (COA) do the accounting after the event and initiate prosecution if anomaly is found, the senator seemed to tell us. Is this what the Senator wants us to believe? Hindi kaya too late na because the harm has already been done?
That incident involving a Philippine Airlines (PAL) Boeing 777 jet with flames spurting from one right engine just after takeoff from Los Angeles International Airport bound for Manila on Thursday is one of my many reasons why I discontinued my plan of spending my remaining years in the United States and to waive all the privileges accorded a US citizen.
Aside from the almost 20-hour flight from Davao City-Manila-Los Angeles and Chicago that is almost impossible for this old man to continuously bear, the fear of accident similar to this recent plane incident is always in my mind the moment we board the plane.
And who will not think of that when you’re 35,000 feet above sea level with only a plane seatbelt and smiling flight stewardess as your only consolation to fight the fear in all the duration of the flight?
Aircraft in good condition is an advantage, but there’s no such thing as that when you’re already seated while flying above when you do not know what will happen next.
The Flight PR 113 which was bound for Manila, reported a problem with the right engine and turned around, landed at the same LAX after 15 minutes earlier takeoff.
Maybe, tama talaga ang naging desisyon ko na dito na lang sa Pinas.
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