Palace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption charges
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang wants an investigation on the privately-formed Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) Foundation after it also rejected the group’s bid to organize the country’s hosting of the 30th Southeast Asian Games.
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Monday said President Rodrigo Duterte prefers that the government handle the hosting of the biennial regional event to ensure that it would be corruption-free.
The probe on PHISGOC Foundation, led by Taguig 1st District Rep. Alam Peter Cayetano, was reportedly due to allegations of corruption. The investigation comes ahead of the Philippines’ hosting of the Sea Games this November.
“He said he doesn’t want the foundation (to arrange the country’s hosting of Sea Games), he wants the government,” Panelo said in a Palace briefing.
“Sabi niya maraming korapsyon diyan sa private kaya nasisira ‘yung diskarte ng mga nandiyan, kaya gusto niya gobyerno na lang,” he added.
Duterte was quoted as saying in a local broadsheet that he would not let PHISGOC Foundation make plans for the country’s hosting of the sports event.
Reports said that PHISGOC Foundation Inc. had entered into questionable deals, including allegedly overpriced uniform, training gears, and socks.
Cayetano had previously denied the allegations.
INQUIRER.net tried to reach Cayetano for his comments on the issue but has not responded as of this posting.
While Duterte did not categorically order the investigation of PHISGOC Foundation, Panelo said concerned agencies must look into corruption allegations.
“He did not mention that but as a matter of standard procedure if there is corruption, supposed to be the agencies concerned in the investigation must delve into that without being asked by the President,” Panelo said.
But Panelo thinks that even if Cayetano serves as chairman of PHISGOC Foundation, the former foreign affairs secretary and President’s political ally could not be involved in corruption.
“Ah definitely not, not this Cayetano,” he said.
“Cayetano just entered recently; he was appointed there because of those allegations,” he added.
The Palace official also said Cayetano, who was endorsed by Duterte to be the next Speaker of the House of Representatives, could be too busy to oversee the country’s hosting of the Sea Games this November.
“Pero kung Speaker na siya, how can he do that?” Panelo pointed out.
“Baka mahirapan na si Congressman Cayetano kung siya ang magiging Speaker, how can he even have time for that?” he added. /kga