Makabayan bloc seeks probe of SEA Games funds

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 12) — Members of the Makabayan bloc want the House to investigate how the funds for the recently-concluded Southeast Asian (SEA) Games were spent, amid controversy over expenses.

House Resolution No. 602 was filed Thursday by the six-member opposition group, including Bayan Muna Representatives Carlos Zarate, Eufemia Cullamat, Ferdinand Gaite, ACT Teachers Representative France Castro, Gabriela Representative Arlene Brosas, and Kabataan Representative Sarah Elago.

The resolution is seeking a probe by the House Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability into how government agencies involved in SEA Games preparations spent the budget.

The resolution said the SEA Games organizing committee led by House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano should also explain its involvement in staging the athletic meet.

"Hindi naman lingid sa kaalaman ng lahat na talagang napakaraming kontrobersya dito at sinabi na rin ni Speaker Cayetano na bukas sila (sa imbestigasyon)...hindi naman pribadong pera ang involved dito. Pondo ng bayan ang involved dito at kailangang mabusisi natin," said Zarate.

[Translation: It's no secret that there was a lot of controversy here and Speaker Cayetano has said they were open (for an investigation)... the funds did not come from private entities. These are public funds and we have to check thoroughly.]

The Makabayan bloc’s resolution is also calling for a probe on the Bases Conversion and Development Authority’s joint venture with a Malaysian company to build the sports facilities used during the SEA Games at New Clark City in Tarlac.

On Monday, Ombudsman Samuel Martires revealed his office already started a probe into alleged corruption in the country's hosting of the SEA Games.

President Rodrigo Duterte also said he wants answers over corruption allegations. However, he has cleared Cayetano from any wrongdoing.

READ: Duterte clears Cayetano of corruption, but says military should have handled SEA Games