Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on Thursday said that a bowling center in Starmall EDSA was chosen as the venue of the bowling event for the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games not because of his ties with the Villar family but because it meets international standards.
In a press conference in New Clark City, Cayetano, who also chairs the Philippine organizing committee for the Games, said that it was the Philippine Olympic Committee and the competition managers, not him, who scouted and chose the bowling center in Starmall.
"They found bowling alleys in Starmall not owned by the Villars. It's owned by Puyat Sports. At alam naman natin pagdating sa Pilipinas, Puyat Sports is one of the gold standards if not the gold standard," he said.
"Sila lang ang may 20 lanes. So it just so happens that the Puyat Sports bowling lanes is in the Villar mall," he added.
"The Villars never asked me to use any of their facilities. In fact, if you didn't bring it up, I wouldn't have known all of these details. What I make sure of is that walang korapsyon, walang favoritism, walang excessive, walang overpriced," he said.
"Like the skating ring. Ang merong skating ring ay Mall of Asia. It's not because I know some of the Sys or because meron din silang mall sa Taguig or whatever, but because nandoon 'yung facility," he added.
GMA News Online has sought comment from the Villar camp.
Preparations for the SEA Games and the choice of facilities have been met with criticism, supposedly because they are not yet in the best condition with only a few days before the event opens.
But Cayetano insisted that some of the facilities to be used for the Games are 100% ready.
"In terms of facilities dito sa Clark, Subic, 100%. Sa Tagaytay, we'll finish this week. Sa Rizal, they promised us that it will be done but we have a contingency plan just in case," he said.
"I can tell you, handang-handa na tayo.... But merong mga talagang kailangan harapin on a day-to-day basis," he added.
The 30th SEA Games will be held from November 30 to December 11, 2019, with the opening ceremony to be staged at the Philippine Arena. — BM/RSJ/NB, GMA News