De Lima wants probe into PH’s hosting of 2019 SEA Games

Robie de Guzman   •   December 18, 2019   •   1577

MANILA, Philippines – Detained Senator Leila de Lima on Wednesday said she has filed a resolution seeking an investigation into the alleged irregularities that marred the country’s hosting of the recently concluded 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.  

De Lima filed Senate Resolution No. 274 directing the appropriate Senate committee to conduct an investigation on the reported organizational and administrative problems, as well as possible corruption, which affected the biennial sports meet.

She said reports on organizational problems surrounding the country’s preparation “betray a political dynamic that could translate to even greater problems in our sports programs in the future.”

“As we celebrate our athletes’ most successful campaign in recent memory, it is likewise important for our government to scrutinize our performance both as a host country and as patrons to our athletes,” she said in a statement.

De Lima said that prior to its opening on Nov. 30, the country’s hosting of the SEA Games has been beset by organizational issues, including early troubles with transportation and accommodations of teams from Myanmar, Timor-Leste and Cambodia, accreditation issues and lack of halal food for Singaporean delegation, and even problems with accreditation of media.

She also said that several volunteers for the SEA Games also aired their grievances over the alleged lack of system and coordination.

De Lima likewise noted the criticisms on the allegedly exorbitant 50-meter tall cauldron-type structure, which costs P50 million, for the lighting of the torch.

“Proper management and governance necessitate that we conduct an inquiry on the recently concluded SEA Games, especially after the problems encountered were duly documented by the mass media,” she said.

The lawmaker also underscored the need to scrutinize the organizational structure through which the country hosts international sporting events “to ensure that the funds will be properly given to institutions with the mandate and capability to properly utilize them.

“There is a need to investigate the existing sports legislation to ensure that support and funding are given to the agencies that have the proper mandate and that accountability lies even with private organizations, especially those who have access to government resources,” she said.

“While problems of disorganization, incompetence, and inefficiency can be resolved through institutional mechanisms, what cannot be countenanced is the scandalous probability that in the middle of all this disorganization and incompetence, certain high public officials still might have enriched themselves in the procurement of government contracts for the hosting of the games,” she added.

Officials of the Philippine Sports Commission and the SEA Games organizing committee earlier attributed the delays in the preparation of the biennial meet to the delayed passage of the 2019 national budget.

Hanoi SEA Games set for mid-May 2022 — POC

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) will be held in mid-May 2022, according to Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) President Bambol Tolentino.

Tolentino confirmed the schedule on Monday (October 18) after officials from 11 member nations convened online. Vietnam will host the upcoming SEAG and has also agreed with the said schedule.

“The Vietnamese organizers will confirm the specific dates soon,” he said.

The Hanoi SEA Games was originally scheduled from November 21 to December 2 in 2021 but was postponed due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Around 40 sports will be played during the 31st SEAG, with a total of 250 events.

The Philippine team will be participating in 39 sports. –AAC

De Lima seeks reelection in 2022 polls

Robie de Guzman   •   October 8, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Detained Senator Leila De Lima has filed her certificate of candidacy (COC), through an authorized representative, for her reelection bid in the 2022 elections.

De Lima’s spokesperson, Atty. Dino de Leon, filed her COC on Friday on her behalf.

In seeking reelection, De Lima said she wants to restore justice in the next administration and vowed to demand an accounting of President Rodrigo Duterte’s unfulfilled campaign promises.

De Lima, a staunch critic of the Duterte administration, has been in detention since 2017 at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center at Camp Crame for her alleged involvement in the narcotics trade.

She has repeatedly denied the drug-related charges against her.

Prior to being elected as senator in 2016, she served as chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights and secretary of the Department of Justice.

Kiko Pangilinan, Leila de Lima, Bam Aquino lead LP Senate bets for 2022 polls

Robie de Guzman   •   September 28, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Liberal Party (LP) on Tuesday announced the nominations of Senators Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan and Leila de Lima, as well as former Senator Bam Aquino, as its senatorial candidates for the 2022 elections.

In a statement, the LP said the formal nomination of Pangilinan, de Lima, and Aquino happened during the party’s virtual National Executive Council Meeting.

Aquino has yet to announce his plans for the upcoming polls.

The gathering was attended by LP party chairperson and Vice President Leni Robredo, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, Quezon City Representative Christopher “Kit” Belmonte, and former lawmakers Teddy Baguilat and Erin Tañada, among others.

The LP said it also passed a resolution endorsing Senator Risa Hontiveros and Atty. Chel Diokno as part of its initial list of guest senatorial candidates, for being aligned with the party’s principles.

The former ruling party also passed another resolution granting Robredo full authority and discretion in initiating talks and coming up with agreements, as well as identifying and assembling a united national slate of candidates for president, vice president and senators, “while respecting her preference on the elective position she may decide to run for, if any, with the full support by the Party as a whole.”

Robredo has yet to announce her plans for the 2022 elections.

The period for the filing of candidacy will be from October 1 to 8.

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