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Cojuangco claims SEA Games closing program already finalized before PH cultural show suggestion


By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Traditionally, in any international sporting meet like the SEA Games, the host nation of the next edition will do a cultural show during the closing ceremonies of the current edition.

However, the POC, which finally sealed the hosting rights to the 2019 SEA Games following unforeseen circumstances which nearly led to the sporting body giving it up, went away with the said cultural show and instead opted to formally receive the said hosting rights in a very simple way from the Olympic Council of Malaysia at the closing ceremonies of the 2017 edition, which will take place later Wednesday.

In a statement, POC president Peping Cojuangco explained why he had to shelve the said cultural presentation option.

“How could be insist with the host country and the MASOC (Malaysian Southeast Asian Organizing Committee) to present a 20-minute presentation when the closing program has been finalized long before the Games started and coincided with the Independence Day celebration of Malaysia?” said Cojuangco.

Cojuangco then hit out at chief of mission Cynthia Carrion, saying, “And the CDM, who attended the CDM meetings before and during the games, could not even show the POC board a program that included a Philippine cultural show.”

Carrion suggested for a Philippine cultural show to happen during the turnover rites, but Cojuangco's statement hinted that Carrion's proposal came a bit too late.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno