Look who’s talking.

This was House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano’s reaction to what he said was the opposition’s hypocrisy for complaining about the expenses the Duterte administration incurred for the hosting of the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games but conveniently forget the price tab of hosting the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in 2015.

Former President Noynoy Aquino and Sen. Franklin Drilon criticized the Duterte administration for the expenses incurred in hosting the Games.

The Speaker reminded the previous administration, it spent about 10 billion pesos for the hosting of the APEC Summit in 2015.

Yung hypocrisy na nung P10B ang hiningi nila sa kongreso para sa APEC. Para sa bayan ito representasyon ito, karangalan natin ito. We have to spend a lot, we have to spend on those artists and singers we have to serve good food para maganda representasyon. Yun nakita nila at justified nila pero yung P50M na priceless work of art na forever pagma-may ari ng gobyerno sasabihin nila sana 50 classrooms na lang,” Cayetano, who is also the Philippine Sea Games Organizing Committee chair, said. 

The Speaker revealed that the Aquino administration back then asked him to keep quiet over the expenses they incurred for APEC 2015.

Ilan ba ang dapat nagawang classroom kung hindi natin hinost ang APEC? 10,000 classrooms,” Cayetano said. 

Aside from this, Cayetano revealed Drilon also sought additional funds for the Cultural Center of The Philippines (CCP).

“He was asking for P50 million for the CCP, for the Philharmonics, na mag-tour sa buong mundo… wala namang nagsabi na huwag ibigay sa Philharmonics dahil 50 classrooms ang P50 million,” Cayetano said.

The Speaker turned the tables against the opposition on the matter of spending for classroom construction. He pointed out it was the Aquino administration that created the shortage.

“Senator Drilon forgot it’s their administration na nagpilit ng K to 12 kaya kulang ulit ng classroom. Don’t talk about classrooms kasi you created the classroom shortage,” Cayetano said.

The Speaker believed the opposition is politicizing the SEA Games, noting that it’s been stepping up its media offensive even after it called for a ceasefire.

Araw-araw nasa TV e. Talagang all talk lang, operation all talk lang. Parang 2022 nasa siguro nasa isip,” Cayetano said.

At the same time, the Speaker denied favoring administration allies in the selection of a bowling venue in a mall owned by the Villar family to host the SEA Games bowling competition.

Cayetano said he did not overrule sports officials who picked the venue according to international standards.

“They found bowling alleys in Star Mall not owned by the Villars, it’s owned by Puyat Sports,” Cayetano said.

Drilon asserted that he is not against the Philippines’ hosting of the SEA Games but he is questioning the propriety of the more than ten-billion-peso loan for the event.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez believed spending on the SEA Games is money well spent.

“This project, I think, is well spent not only for the athletes but also for the pride of our country and that we now have for the first time in 80 years, we have a world-class sports facility,” Dominguez said.

Cayetano admitted, though, that other SEA Games venues are not yet ready, nine days before the Games begin.

“Subic and then Tagaytay and then Rizal may hinahabol pa talaga.  But they have promised it will be done before the opening and just in case magkaproblema, we can’t tell the people meron kaming contingency plans so hindi matitigil ang games,” he said.

SEA Games Subic Cluster Chairman Ramon Agregado said facilities in Subic that will be used for the games are “90 percent ready”.

The organizers added that they also developed the SEA Games venues so that they will still be useful and viable, long after the Games are done and assured taxpayers they won’t go the way of other international sporting venues that became white elephants. (Jasper Camilo)