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Celebs and other personalities react to 2019 SEA Games fiasco

“Kitang kita ang discrepancies. Umayos kayo!”

Celebrities and other personalities took to social media to air their frustrations on the problems hounding the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games a few days before the sporting event kicks off.

In a Twitter post, singer Bituin Escalante said she wanted the SEA Games to succeed, especially that some of her friends are performing in the opening and closing ceremonies.

“I sincerely want the #SEAGames2019 to succeed as many friends are competing and performing and the success of all, including our organizers, is the country’s,” the singer wrote.

“Kaya please lang, ayusin niyo yan Phisgoc (Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee)! Kitang kita ang discrepancies. Umayos kayo!” she added.

In the past couple of days, several teams including the football teams from Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand, and Timor-Leste said they encountered food, accommodation, and logistical issues since they arrived in Manila.

Some of the teams had to wait for hours at the airport before they were picked up, only to be brought to the wrong hotel.

Others had to sleep for hours on hotel floors waiting for rooms to become available.

The Thailand football team also had to cancel practice sessions because the venue was too far from their hotel.

Even the Philippine Women’s football team had to wait hours to be checked into their hotel rooms and the players were forced to share whatever was available with two to four of their teammates.

Some local and international media have also yet to get their IDs, even as some games were already set to begin.

Organizers also ignored the advice of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos to ensure that delegates from Islamic countries are served halal food. This resulted in the serving of kikiam and other non-halal food to some Muslim athletes.

Actress Agot Isidro slammed those who were saying that the administration’s critics were only out to sabotage it.

“No one wants the #SEAGames to fail. What good will that do? Stop this nonsense like demolition and sabotage, we did this to ourselves,” she said.

“I say we, because Pilipinas ang taya dito. Lahat tayo. We win as one nga, di ba? And we also fail as one, kapag hindi maayos. Step up tayo!’ she added.

Actor Juan Miguel Severo shared the same sentiments.

“Hindi hinihila ng mga kritiko ang imahe ng Pilipinas pababa,” Severo tweeted.

“Ang mga banô at magnanakaw sa organizers ang naglubog sa atin sa ilalim. Mas nakakahiya ang maging bulag tayo sa sarili nating mga pagkukulang,” he added.

Director Kip Oebanda expressed dismay on how some of the administration’s supporters continue to make excuses for the fiasco.

“Excuse me, we aren’t complaining about #SEAGames2019 just bec. we are nega. It’s because 6 Billion pesos was spent on this,” Oebanda twitted.

“If we decided a small-scale, cheap event was more appropriate, OK lang e. But if it’s this bad with that budget it’s incompetence and/or corruption,” he added.

Former solicitor general and lawyer Florin Hilbay said there is nothing wrong in criticizing those who caused “inconveniences” to some foreign and local athletes ahead of the sporting event’s opening.

“Hindi pambabastos sa sariling bansa ang punahin ang mga kapalpakan sa #SEAGames2019. We should not allow public officials (and their troll armies) to hide behind ‘nationalism’ to justify their corruption and incompetence,” he said.

“Iba ang pagmamahal sa bayan sa pagsopla sa mga kurakot,” he added.

For her part, actress Ria Atayde said the government “have allocated 6 billion pesos for the SEA Games and remain humiliated because of how the funds were used.”

“Regardless though, our guests shouldn’t be mistreated,” she added.

On Sunday, House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, the chair of the PHISGOC, visited foreign delegations who suffered transportation, hotel, food, and practice inconveniences upon their arrival in the country and apologized.

He assured them that the Philippine hosting will be great and meaningful for everyone.

But Senator Bong Go stressed that better management is needed over an apology.

The senator added that those responsible for “apparent inefficiencies that have been hounding our hosting of the 30th SEA Games” will be made accountable after the event.

Aside from the shabby food and accommodation for delegates and unfinished competition venues, PHISGOC officials are already being questioned on the cost of the P55-million cauldron last week.

Written by Angelle De Leon

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