The Philippine Olympic Committee reiterated that the Philippine Sports Commission had a hand in the Commission on Audit sending a demand letter asking the organization to liquidate a P10-million financial assistance that was released 25 years ago.
POC president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino said that an Affidavit of Undertaking for the release of funds for the recent 19th Asian Games had a provision for the POC to liquidate P13.2 million, including the P10 million released for the 10th Asian Games in Bangkok, in order to release the funds for the Hangzhou campaign.
“The Affidavit of Undertaking was sent to us weeks before the Asian Games started, or before the PSC and COA sent that demand letter late 20 September,” Tolentino said.
“Therefore, who’s telling the truth here?”
PSC chairman Richard “Dickie” Bachmann said in his press conference on Tuesday that it’s the CoA, and not the government sports agency, that asked the POC to liquidate P13.2 million within a five-day window.
“It’s very clear in that affidavit that indeed, the PSC knew it all along,” Tolentino said.
Tolentino said over the weekend in Hangzhou that he and the POC advanced payments to airlines, particularly Cathay Pacific, because of the urgency to book flights for the close to 400-athlete delegation.
“Time was running out in booking the flights so I and the POC diligently took the logical initiative to advance payments in order to guarantee that our athletes are flying to Hangzhou,” he said.
“We started booking flights in the absence of a clear guarantee from the PSC only 10 days before the Asian Games.”
Tolentino said the demand letter’s intent was “malicious and distractive” and that it was timed at a time when Team Philippines was about to start competing in Hangzhou.
Provision No. 6 of the undertaking stated “I also acknowledge that as per the records of the PSC Accounting Division as of 30 August 2023, herein attached as ‘Annex A,’ POC has prior unliquidated financial assistance amounting to Thirteen Million Two Hundred Thirty-Eight Thousand Twenty Pesos and Fifty Centavos (P13,238,020.50).”
Besides the P10 million, the PSC asked the POC to liquidate P2.6 million for the “payment of expenses for delegation members not included in previous approved list of PSC for the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam, under BR No. 755-2022” and P663,000 “for the purchase of equipment/uniforms for the Philippine Swimming Team for the 32nd SEAG per BR No. 648-2023.”
“Those (P2.6 million and P663,000) we will liquidate, the documents are being completed,” Tolentino said.
“But not the P10 million.”