POC president puzzled by public’s ‘exaggeration’ of SEA Games mishaps
MANILA, Philippines — Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino said Wednesday he is puzzled why some have been supposedly exaggerating the mishaps in the country’s hosting of the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.
“Nakakapagtaka po na lahat po ng maliliit ngayon, kahit na konti pinalalaki. Imbes po na tayo ay magtulung-tulungan muna para sa ating atleta at para sa ating bansa. Hindi lang naman po sa Pilipinas nangyayari ‘yang ganyan eh,” he said in an interview with Radyo Inquirer.
(It’s baffling that minor lapses were made to look like big issues, instead of giving our support for the athletes and for the country. These are happening not only in the Philippines but in other countries hosting major events.)
Tolentino, also the representative of the 8th District of Cavite, said a number of glitches that inconvenienced foreign athletes since their arrival in the country for the games was only “normal,” especially since a “historical” 56 sports were included in the sports meet.
“Lahat naman po ‘yan na-address na po at maganda rin po at nabigyan na agad ng pansin (All of these have been addressed and it’s good these were already given attention),” he said.
Tolentino also hailed the country for hosting this year’s SEA Games with just P7.5-billion budget. In other countries including Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia, he said the budget was almost double even if there were only 30 to 45 sports included in the games.
He then called on the public to be united with organizing committees and to be proud of how the country hosts big events.
“Nananawagan po kami na magkaisa tayo sa panahong ito. Minsan lang ito, kada sampung mahigit na taon, ngayon lang ulit (We are calling on the people to be united. This only happens seldom, only in over 10 years). Let’s not only win as one, [but let us also] stand as one,” said the POC president.
“Talagang ipagmalaki natin kung paano tayo maghost. Huwag po muna tayo magwalang magawa, ‘yung makakasira. Saka na po natin pag-usapan ‘yung mga pagkukulang (Let us be proud of how we host events. Let us not [criticize] just because we don’t have anything else to do, or say things that would bring us down. Let us talk about our shortcomings later),” he also said.
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