PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte hinted he will take action on claims by Mansueto ‘Onyok’ Velasco that he has yet to receive his incentives for winning a silver medal in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
Velasco's supposedly undelivered incentive was once again brought up after Hidilyn Diaz captured a silver medal in the Rio De Janeiro Olympics and received a check of P5 million.
When asked about it on Thursday during a press conference following a courtesy call by Diaz in Davao City, Duterte said he was just waiting for a 'go-signal' before taking action on Velasco’s grievance.
“I will just time it. May hinihintay lang kasi ako na go signal,” he said.
Duterte said there are questions surrounding the claim of Velasco, whose accomplishment in the Atlanta Olympics came before the Sports Benefits and Incentives Act of 2001 was passed into law.
“I think it was a promise. Because if it is, was there an appropriated money? Was it included in the budget? And who promised him?” asked Duterte.
Sources said the incentives in question were promised by congressmen in the wake of Velasco's victory, but were never acted upon - much less delivered.
For his part, Senator Sonny Angara said Velasco can still demand for his incentives from the government for winning a silver medal in the 1996 Olympics.
Under the law, Angara said Velasco is entitled to P1.25 million as per Section 9 of Republic Act 9064, which states past achievers prior to the Sports Benefits and Incentives Act of 2001 are entitled to 50 percent of the amount stated by law.
Angara added that Velasco can still claim the incentive from the PSC.
“Basically, RA 9064 provides he gets P1.25 million, (which is) only half of P2.5 million because (it’s) before 2001 when lthe aw became effective,” Angara said.
“He can demand from PSC,” he added.
However, there are reports that Velasco had already received P1.75 million from the government, which is well beyond the P1.25 million that he is entitled to under Angara's premise.
Nevertheless, Angara explained Velasco can still collect from the government if the amount he had received before is still less than P1.25 million.
“If less than P 1.25 million, then entitled siya the rest of the amount to make up P 1.25 million,” said Angara.