‘You are all winners’ – Palace on SEA Games competitors

Athletes and Philippine team officials join the parade during the closing ceremony of the 30th Southeast Asian Games at the New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac on Wednesday, December 11.
| PNA photo by Jess M. Escaros Jr.

Malacañang lauded all the athletes who participated in the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games hosted by the Philippines for bringing pride and honor to their countries.

“The Palace congratulates all the athletes and their support staff. All of you did a wonderful job giving pride and honor to your respective countries. Your very presence here alone means you are all winners,” said presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo in a statement.

He also commended the Philippine delegation for emerging as overall champion of the regional sports meet, with a record-breaking haul of 149 gold, 118 silver, and 119 bronze medals.

“As we officially hand over the hosting chores of the 2021 SEA Games to Vietnam today, we look back at the high emotions, the broken records, the blood, sweat and tears of our athletes and their coaches,” Panelo said.

“We are happy in the Philippines not only because all participating countries secured medals but for the other reason that their athletes will be bringing wonderful and unforgettable memories with them to their homes,” he added.

Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, meanwhile, said, “We are all winners in our own right because we all embody the spirit of sportsmanship and we share the singular vision of being one big regional community.”

Cayetano: SEAG double victory for PH

Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) chair and House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano said the Philippines made history in hosting the biennial event that the participants described as the “biggest and grandest edition so far” on top of emerging as the overall champion.

“The objectives of good hosting and staging the biggest SEA Games were met. We all saw how successful this is,” he said during an interview, backing his declaration with feedback from participating delegations and athletes as well as statistics.

“When we look at the ratings, we can say that this could also be the most viewed SEA Games so far,” he added.

According to the PHISGOC chair, participating athletes and officials from other Southeast Asian nations alike congratulated the PHISGOC and the Philippine government for the successful hosting.

Cayetano also said that the probe into the spread of fake news on the country’s hosting will now commence and warned those found liable for the alleged operation to discredit the country’s hosting of the SEA Games of possible criminal or civil charges.

“We have laws — whether it’s cyber libel, libel or whatever — and you cannot do that to your own country. We want to host the Asian Games in 2030 so we have 10 years not only to build but also to mature and part of the maturing process is for us to be accountable,” he stressed.

“You know, you can disagree with government but you cannot sabotage your own people and your own government,” he added.

Cayetano also welcomed the Office of the Ombudsman’s fact-finding investigation on the P6.5-billion government fund used in the SEAG hosting, saying that he is confident they would not find any anomaly in PHISGOC’s spending of the budget. 

Ritchel Mendiola

Ritchel Mendiola is a staff writer and reporter for the Asian Journal. You can reach her at [email protected]

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