Despite all the misfortunes happening in the hosting of Southeast Asian (SEA) Games 2019 of the Philippines, Panelo said that no heads will roll as the inconveniences are “not that serious anyway.”
In Busan, South Korea on late Sunday, Panelo said he does not think that President Rodrigo Duterte will fire the people accountable for all the mess of the upcoming event on November 30 through December 11, 2019.
Similarly, House Speaker Peter Cayetano said that SEA Games committee does not need to owe an apology to all now, but needs to wake up people instead.
“We do not need an apology at this time. You cannot address this with mere apology… What we need is to wake up everyone. Don’t be lethargic!” he said, referencing the misfortunes encountered by teams of Myanmar, Cambodia, Timor-Leste and Thailand.
Panelo also supported Cayetano’s thinking, adding that the inconveniences were not that serious to punish those people behind them.
Besides, his perception of serious and “appealing” incident is when the safety and health of teams are being at risk.
“It wasn’t that serious anyway. It would be different if their lives or their health were put in harm’s way, but a few hours delay of checking in or transporting, it happens to any passenger nowadays all over the world,” Panelo said before the 2019 Asean-Republic of Korea Commemorative Summit started.
Moreover, Panelo said that the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committe’s (PHISGOC) apology is already ‘okay’ to fix the problems in the coming days.
“[PHISGOC] has already explained. They issued a statement. That’s OK already. I think they will find ways [to fix the problems],” he said.
“This kind of incidents, given the number of countries participating and the athletes coming here, could not be avoided. There will be delays in the transport, in the checking in, there will be some miscommunications. Those are never intentional,” Panelo added.
“I’m sure they will do better in the next succeeding arrival of the other countries’ delegates and athletes,” Panelo also believed.
While critics claim that the hosting of SEA Games is just the way of the administration to get billions of pesos, Go pointed out that the Congress and the Office of the President had provided enough public funds for the organizers in the regional sports to use.
“There’s no reason to claim that we are not ready… There is a right time for everything. We should not be blaming each other now. But after the games, we will hold them accountable,” Go said.
Meanwhile, 1-Pacman Rep. Michael “Mikee” Romero blamed the senators for the logistical mistakes concerning the late accommodation of athletes, claiming that this was because of the delay of the passage of the 2019 P3.7-trillion national budget.
“If they have approved it and the budget was already available last January, all these mishaps might not have happened,” Romero said.
Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon justified this, calling out Romero that he actually suggested to end that four-month deadlock in the approval of the spending bill to Senate President Vicente Sotto III.
“This is an insult to the leadership of the Senate,” Drilon said in a statement.
“To refresh Romero’s memory, had it not been for the solution or compromise that I proposed… We would not have resolved the 2019 budget impasse and we would have continued on a reenacted budget,” he added.
Sen. Panfilo Lacson backed up this statement and said, “No way. We did not cause the delay.”
“We should not be blamed for doing our constitutional duty. You can just imagine if we allowed that (P75 billion in insertions) just for the sake of passing the budget measure on time. It would have been a bigger debacle,” Lacson added.