SINGAPORE — Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (Patafa) president Philip Ella Juico pinned the blame on the supplier of uniforms of the national athletics team for the flag blunder that marred the Southeast Asian Games victories of sprinter Kayla Richardson and Eric Cray.
Juico said the supplier, which he did not identify, had in fact issued a public apology and owned up to the mistake of putting Philippine flags turned upside down in the uniforms of Richardson and Cray during their sweep of the century dash gold medals in this city state on Tuesday.
“This was an error of the supplier which we have corrected,” said Juico. “The supplier is making a public apology accepting the fact that they made a mistake.”
Juico also clarified that not all uniforms had the flag inverted and assured that corrections have been done, pointing out Cray’s uniform had the correct flag during his win in the 400-meter hurdles on Wednesday.
“It got inverted in a few uniforms, and not in all. It is being corrected,” said Juico.
“Mga apat or lima,” said Juico when asked how many uniforms had the wrong flag. “We just got another flag.”
The former Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman, however, rued that the furor over the flag blunder had taken the focus away from the impressive performance of the athletics team in these Games.
“The point is, we are doing well and we are performing in an outstanding manner and doing the country proud. That is the greater issue rather than the inverted flag,” said Juico.
“We just got another flag. That’s all. Why is there such a big issue?”
However, officials have pointed out that the only time the flag should be displayed with the red part on top is when the country is in a state of war, saying doing so under any other circumstances is illegal.