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Cayetano: Bambol reelection signifies ‘vote of confidence’

Michelle R. Guillang

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Taguig Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano on Saturday congratulated Cavite Representative Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino for his reelection as president of the Philippine Olympic Committee.

The ousted Speaker also commended Tolentio for his “effective and inspiring brand of leadership” that led to the latter’s reelection.

“His reelection signifies the vote of confidence of the leaders of the national sport associations to a more progressive and responsive leader,” said Cayetano.

He expressed optimism that Tolenetino’s leadership will be “centered on the welfare of Filipino athletes.”

Cayetano, who chaired the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) during the hosting of the Philippines of the 30th SEA Games last year, believed that Tolentino would sustain the “legacy of winning” during the biennial sporting event.

Tolentino is a strong political ally of Cayetano who served as chairperson of the powerful House committee on accounts when the latter was still the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

President’ son and Davao Rep. Paolo Duterte, replaced Tolentino when Cayetano was ousted as House leader last October.

Except from Tolentino, the executive board of the POC filed a civil complaint against Cayetano’s PHISGOC over its failure to submit the audited financial statements of the SEA Games report during the deadline – a violation of the tripartite agreement the two organizations both signed.

The financial statements would contain how PHISGOC spent P1.4 billion funds to host the 30th SEA Games.

In a special board meeting before the charges were filed against PHISGOC, Tolentino and POC’s secretary general Edwin Gastanes voted against the filing of charges that Olympic Council was set to file.

Cayetano insisted that PHISGOC is “open to any investigation but not to witch-hunting.”

Auditing is still ongoing, he said.

Senator Risa Hontiveros earlier called for an investigation into the Bases Conversion and Development Authority’s P9.5-billion loan used to build sports venues for the SEA Games held last year.

Cayetano’s sister – Senator Pia – quickly defended her brother and PHISGOC, saying “world-class” facilities should not be politicized.

Cayetano has also earlier slammed his political rival, House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco, who also wanted to investigate PHISGOC.

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