MANILA, Philippines – Senate President Vicente Sotto III recounts his personal experience competing in international games being a former athlete himself.
Sotto, who was a member of the Philippine Bowling Team in the Asian and South East Asian Games in the 70’s and 80’s, said glitches in the hosting of such big sporting events are normal.
During his time, he said, they were never escorted to their hotel.
“At hindi pupwedeng puro five star ang accommodation at pagkain ang ibibigay mo. Ibigay natin iyon sa mga atleta natin. Huwag sa mga kalaban, (It wasn’t possible to have 5-star accommodation all the time. They should be given to our athletes not to our opponents),” Sotto said.
“May mga bansa na minsan nanagot noon, pero noong kami ang sinasagot dinadala kami sa mga dormitoryo ng mga unibersidad, (There were countries that shouldered their accommodation. But ours, we were sent to dormitories in universities)” he added.
In fact, Sotto said the Philippines is far more hospitable than other countries that hosted international events like the SEA Games.
“Andito tayo sa laban ngayon. Medyo alert tayo. Huwag tayong masyadong hospitable (We are in the midst of a competition. We should be alert. We shouldn’t be extra hospitable),” Sotto said.
The Senate president noted that opponents might take advantage of the situation and use such criticisms to defeat our own teams.
“But we should not allow it to anchor us down because of these complaints [because they could be just] strategy,” Senator Sotto said.
Meanwhile, Senator Christopher ‘Bong’ Go said the President has promised to give incentives to athletes who will be bringing medals for the country.
“I suggested to him na bigyan po ng mga awards or incentives po ang mga athletes natin para ma-engganyo naman na lumaban despite the controversies, (I suggested to him to give awards or incentives to our athletes to encourage them to fight despite the controversies),” Go said.
Amid the mishaps, the Senate is determined to investigate the alleged lapses in the conduct of the SEA Games. – MNP (with reports from Nel Maribojoc)
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