BACOLOD City - It has been almost five years since we hosted the Southeast Asian Games, but because the major movers in that hosting are political players, the SEA Games will surely be kept fresh in our minds.

Or at least different versions of it.

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Such is the case of Jonathan Guardo in Cebu, Monico Puentevella here and Peping Cojuangco and Harry Angping in Manila.

The SEA Games issue—particularly the failure to liquidate the PSCs aid—is being used against Guardo and Puentevella, who are running against Tommy Osmeña and Bing Leonardia.

While Mayor Tommy has kept his attacks to simple diatribes—“liquidate the P10 million first”—Monico is being hounded no end, it seems.

One columnist wrote almost daily columns on the funds issue and even compiled his columns into a book, which was distributed by Mayor Leonardia—or more famously known as the official belt holder of Manny Pacquiao—when he hosted a dinner with the media covering the PAL Interclub.

To be fair to Mayors Tommy and Bing, they were not really the ones who started the issue; it was PSC Chairman Harry Angping who did.

Last year, Angping filed a case against Guardo, who is running for congressman against Tommy, and Monico for their failure to liquidate the SEA Games funds.

P10 million for Guardo and P50M for Monico.

POC chairman Peping Cojuangco, who headed the Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee, is being sued for P70 million. Angping may not be running but this year’s elections is crucial to him.

If Peping’s nephew wins, well…you know the drill.

Who is right and who is wrong is for the courts to decide since both Guardo and Monico have repeatedly said they have done their job, but it’s a pity that the euphoria of the SEA Games has been replaced with this political circus.

I remember one Thai journalist told me that he was amazed at the unity displayed by the Pinoys during the 2005 SEA Games, since he didn’t expect to see it.

Remember 2005? And the things that happened in Manila before that? Because of those events, there were talks that the SEA Games would be postponed, perhaps that was why the Thai journalist thought we were going at each other’s throats, every other day.

The SEA Games gave us a chance to prove them otherwise.

Right now, I wonder if he’d be amazed.

PAL GULP. After covering the day’s events in the PAL Interclub, sportswriters often gather for the nightly Gulp Division at our hotel talking about anything under the sun—golf, Pacquiao, camfrog, certain trends in PBA series or what-have-you.

The other night, rules man Jake Ayson and veteran Al Mendoza regaled us with tales of legendary Pinoy golfers and of the exploits of a young American golfer who beat a Pinoy in spectacular fashion.

The American kid was trailing by one going into the 18th hole and still won, leaving the Pinoy so distraught that he didn’t even want to have his picture taken.

That Pinoy quit the game, we were told, while the American isn’t also playing right now—he’s too busy saving his marriage and is in therapy.

(mikelimpag@gmail.com)