Palace: Cayetano accountable for SEA Games

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 19) — Current House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano is accountable for whatever happens to the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, a ranking Palace official said.

"Speaker Alan is accountable to all that relates to the SEA Games. Kung anong bulilyaso doon, siyempre dahil siya ang nagpapatakbo accountable siya," Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo told reporters over a phone interview Tuesday.

[Translation: Whatever problems arise, he will be accountable because he is the head.]

Cayetano, who also chairs the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC), recently came under fire after Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon called out the construction of a ₱50-million worth cauldron for the games.

The cauldron, which would hold the SEA games flame, will be 50-meters high and 3-meters wide. It was designed by the late National Artist for Architecture Francisco "Bobby" Mañosa.

The Speaker defended the construction.

""It's a work of art. While some people see it as a cauldron, we see a monument. We see the athletes, we see the burning flames that represent hope and the fighting spirit. We think it is just appropriate," Cayetano told reporters Tuesday. 

Panelo refused to answer whether or not he found the budget for the cauldron excessive.

"Let's not judge the person. It's so easy to accuse," Panelo said.

READ: 2019 SEA Games: Where to get tickets and how much they cost