Velez: Win some, lose some



CHEERS to our athletes in the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games winning and harvesting medals. Gold, gold, gold.

But, also harvesting their victory are Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and the Marcoses who were recently cleared of charges of graft and corruption. They’re happy to keep their gold, gold, gold as well.

Sports and politics don’t mix. Because cheaters should never win.

Speaking of politics and sports, Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, who heads the Phisgoc that brought foreign athletes to the wrong hotel and served them kikiam (or chicken sausage, whichever version you want) for breakfast, reportedly received an award as “best SEA Games organizer” from the Sports Industry Awards (SPIA).

If you know your basketball, you don’t give the MVP award to a player who embarrassed you on the court. You bench him.

But to fact-check this award, there was no such award according to the SPIA website. What they actually gave to Cayetano was a “citation” for his effort to host the event.

And you thought Imee Marcos faking her diploma was the worst kind of politicking. Someone just wants to be the star when the athletes are the real stars.

Here’s an irony, while politicians are trying to harvest praise for these games, farmers and the Aeta community in Tarlac can no longer harvest their crops because of this New Clark City that hosted part of the SEA Games. Inquirer reports around 15,000 farmers and 20,000 Aetas are to be displaced.

As the indigenous group Sandugo points out, “the government bannered indigenous culture at the SEA Games opening ceremony. But just the day before, the BCDA issued an eviction letter to Aeta communities in Capas, Tarlac, giving them seven days to evacuate ’for the greater good.’”

We wonder what greater good the government is talking about when gold and tourism is important over land and farms.

While we cheer for our athletes, we have to be worried about our students. Our high school students ranked lowest in the 2018 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). In their survey of students from 79 countries, the Philippines ranked the lowest in reading comprehension and the second lowest in both mathematics and science knowledge.

Senator Cynthia Villar, the richest senator of our country, proposed to “disband” public schools who are performing poorly. This senator seems to make quite an impression in blaming everyone, like blaming farmers for low prices, and now blaming poor teachers. It would be better if she proposed to disband pork and perks for Congress, and to convert her subdivisions into schools. Because the real investment is in our next generation.


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