ABOUT six months before the Southeast Asian Games (Seag) in 2019, almost everyone, save for the Alan Peter Cayetano faction, thought the preparation was well-behind. Heck, there were even suggestions that we should give way for another country, lest we embarrass ourselves.
A week before the Seag, when most of the mainstream media showed how there were still workers in the venue, while some of the early games had started, I began to suspect that there was some kind of organized pushback against those who reported on the shortcomings.
My suspicions grew when the attacks became personal, especially on women’s football team coach Let Dimzon, who merely answered a question on a pre-game meal. Some even wished that her team would lose because her statement—the keyboard warriors said—embarrassed the country. Sort of like the personal attacks like “I hope you or your daughter get _____” by those who criticized the drug war.
I always knew that such manufactured reactions would be expensive—though there were of course, genuine pro-Seag reactions—and would appear in an expense report.
However, such expense report is, up to now, missing and ever since the Seag—Sen. Cayetano’s shining moment—he has fallen from grace and the Philippine Seag Organizing Committee has since been threatened with a suit by the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) for its failure to present a financial report on the games.
Then, the Philippine Daily Tribune, citing a close source, released a report naming a few POC officials who got huge monthly remunerations for serving in Phisgoc (Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee), raising a few eyebrows. That reminded me of one local official’s lament pre-Seag. He was involved in the preparations, but suddenly found his name removed.
“Forget about the allowance,” the official said, “I just want us to win games.”
Noble of him, to offer time and effort for free for the Seag campaign, while those named to have been paid handsomely justified such payment because they offered time and expertise.
What’s next in the post-Seag drama? It seems to me, some are beginning to check where the wind blows to seek shelter. And next month in the POC elections, where I suspect the Seag will be a touchy issue, I suspect most will be scrambling as one.