There was negligence on the part of the government when it failed to fulfill its promises of monetary and other rewards to Onyok Velasco after the boxer won a silver medal in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, President Rodrigo Duterte's spokesman said on Thursday.
At a news briefing, Secretary Harry Roque Jr. said he would bring the matter to Duterte but made no commitments about whether or not government could still make good its promises 25 years ago.
“Napakahirap kasi mangako doon sa mga bigong pangako ng nakalipas na administrasyon ‘no," Duterte said.
[It is hard to make a promise over the broken promises of past administrations.]
Roque said the law institutionalizing rewards for Olympic medalists would be checked if it could be applied retroactively to benefit athletes who won before it was passed.
Under the law enacted under the Aquino administration in 2015, Olympic gold medalists like history-making Filipino weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz will receive P10 million from the government.
Diaz also received several other lucrative pledges from the private sector, prompting Velasco to say he was hoping she would not suffer from failed promises the way he did.
“Pagbibigay-alam ko po ito kay Presidente kung si Onyok Velasco na nanalo noong silver sa ibang administrasyon ay hindi nakakuha po ng kaniyang pabuya, ipakiusap po natin kay Presidente ito, baka naman mabigyan siya ng pabuya ngayon,” Roque said.
[I will take this to the President, ask him what could be done for Onyok Velasco to get the rewards he deserve. Maybe he can still be given these rewards.]
“Kapabayaan po iyan ng gobyerno na hindi nagbigay sa kaniya ng pabuya,” he added.
[There's negligence on the part of the government which failed to give his rewards.]
Velasco last week said that Congress promised him P2.5 million while the Philippine Navy, of which he was a member, pledged scholarships for his children.
He said he receive any of the two.
Velasco said a businessman promised to give him a P10,000 allowance a month for life. He said only received the benefit for a year,
A firm gave him a house and lot but Velasco said he had yet to receive the title to the property until now. —NB, GMA News