PHILIPPINE Olympic Committee president Jose ‘Peping’ Cojuangco said the country’s hosting of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games will push through regardless of who the next president of the Philippines will be.
Cojuangco begged to disagree with a statement by POC first vice president Joey Romasanta that the results of the 2016 elections will have a direct effect on the country’s hosting of the SEA Games come 2019.
The POC is reportedly keeping a keen eye on the 2016 presidential elections since the winner’s interest in sports will be crucial on whether it can get support from the government, particularly a guarantee not only of financial assistance but also the backing of concerned government agencies.
“While it will be beneficial for the national government to come in, it doesn’t say that we can’t hold it (SEA Games in Manila) without the approval of the national government,” said Cojuangco during the POC’s weekly radio program on Sports Radio on Thursday.
But Cojuangco is confident the POC will be able to stage the 2019 SEA Games with or without a government guarantee, citing the Korean city of Incheon, which he said didn’t receive assistance from the national government but was able to successfully stage the 2014 Asian Games.
“We should not have a problem,” said Cojuangco.
Cojuangco said the government is also not in a position to decline the hosting of the 2019 SEA Games after the POC accepted in principle to host the biennial meet during last year’s SEA Games Federation Council meeting.
“I don’t think it will look good even in the eyes of the IOC. Baka suspendihin ang Pilipinas. We are autonomous and independent,” Cojuangco said.