Letter to the Editor: Reply to Mary Ann Reyes’ column [Philippine Star]

To The Philippine Star: Please allow us to set the record straight regarding Ms. Reyes’ column on Dec. 22, 2019, where she stated it is “unfortunate” that Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson “wants an investigation” into issues involving the organizers of the recently concluded Southeast Asian Games – and insinuated that the investigation may be for “grandstanding.”


Reply to Mary Ann Reyes’ column


Dear Ms. Reyes,


Please allow us to set the record straight regarding your column on Dec. 22, 2019, where you stated it is “unfortunate” that Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson “wants an investigation” into issues involving the organizers of the recently concluded Southeast Asian Games – and insinuated that the investigation may be for “grandstanding.”


First, the Senator has made it clear that while he fully supports our athletes and joins the nation in celebrating their triumph, there had been concerns raised about the organizers that cannot be ignored – such as the transfer of funds from a government agency to a private foundation, in this case, the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee. The concerns raised had, fairly or unfairly, compared the PHISGOC’s situation to the transfer of funds to fake NGOs formed by Janet Lim-Napoles from lawmakers involved in the 2013 pork barrel scandal; and to the case of former Governor Grace Padaca who was charged – and convicted – for the transfer of funds from the provincial government to a private foundation.


Second, an inquiry may get to the bottom of the reported organizing woes in the days leading to the opening ceremony of the SEA Games, as well as reported claims by organizers that they had little time to prepare – and lead to legislation that would address these concerns.


Finally, if the PHISGOC has nothing to hide as its chairman House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano has stated, an investigation would clear the air of such concerns.


The success and honor that our athletes’ performance has given our country cannot make us turn a blind eye to the possible shortcomings – or excesses – of the organizers. It is quite unfortunate that for pointing this out, Senator Lacson is subjected to such baseless claims. Let us hope this is not part of a pattern.


We hope this clears the air. Thank you very much.


Joel Locsin

Media Relations Officer

Office of Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson


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