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Cayetano ready to face probe over SEA Games woes

Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on Thursday expressed readiness to face investigation into the mishaps related to the country’s staging of the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games after the sports event is held.

“[Come] December 12, hold me accountable. Hold the SEA Games Organizing Committee accountable,” he said in a speech during the 44th National Prayer Breakfast in San Juan City.

“Hindi ako magtatago. Ako mismo ang haharap sa Senado, sa Ombudsman,” he added.

FULL COVERAGE: 30th Southeast Asian Games on GMA News Online

Cayetano, who chairs the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISCOG), even said he is willing to undergo lie detector test to prove that he was not involved in any act of corruption during the preparation for the SEA Games.

“I’m willing to do a lie detector test. And I can look anyone in the eye, ni singko wala kaming kinita dito sa SEA Games. Abonado pa kami dahil sa mga nangyari,” he said.

No less than President Rodrigo Duterte himself has expressed displeasure over the series of lapses that has so far marred the Philippines' hosting of the SEA Games.

Duterte is calling for an investigation into the allegations of corruption and incompetence in relation to the SEA Games.

Cayetano was Duterte's running-mate in the May 2016 elections.

Also on Thursday, Malacañang said it is set to investigate the missteps and alleged irregularities in the country’s hosting of the SEA Games.

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the Palace would hold an investigation even as it welcomed the plan of the Senate to do the same.

“The Office of the President will also be conducting a separate probe on the aberrations and irregularities in the administration of our country's hosting of the SEA Games immediately after the games,” he said. 

Panelo also said Duterte's close ties with Cayetano won't affect the investigation on the SEA Games snafus.

“Given the character of this President, wala naman ditong kai-kaibigan eh. You see how he fires people who are close to him,” Panelo said in an interview on ANC.

Meanwhile, in an ambush interview after the event, Cayetano denied that PHISGOC refused help from any government agency. He said what they actually refused to accept were government funds, not support.  —KBK, GMA News