Palace convinced no corruption in Phisgoc
MANILA, Philippines—Malacañang is convinced that there is no corruption in the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (Phisgoc) Foundation, Inc., a private entity headed by Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano tasked to organize the country’s hosting of the biennial multi-sport event later this year.
Phisgoc reportedly entered into questionable deals, including the supposedly overpriced uniform, training gears, and socks, prompting President Rodrigo Duterte to order the Philippine Sports Committee (PSC) and Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) to stay on top of organizing the sporting event.
But Duterte’s spokesman Salvador Panelo said Phisgoc, PSC, and POC officials agreed in a meeting in Malacañang last week that the foundation cannot be involved in any corruption.
Panelo also clarified that Duterte was just warning the government of rampant corruption in private organizations.
“‘Yung salita ni Presidente is in reference lang to the general issue of corruption in private organizations,” Panelo told reporters Wednesday.
“Last week, there was a meeting between (PSC chair) Butch Ramirez and now (Taguig-Paters) Congressman Alan Peter Cayetano. They agreed that there could be no corruption on the part of Phisgoc simply because it is not involved in the disbursement of funds, it’s the PSC and the DBM (Department of Budget and Management) who are responsible for that,” he added.
In a “call for unity” assembly in Malacañang Wednesday morning, Ramirez confirmed that Phisgoc will stay as one of the lead organizing groups of the 30th Southeast Asian Games, which will run from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11.
During the assembly, Cayetano apologized if the SEA Games had been “politicized.” He also denied allegations of corruption against Phisgoc.
“I was in the DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs) I handled more than P10-billion budget, I have P50 million discretionary funds and I spent not a single cent,” he said in his speech before Filipino athletes.