Netizens assail Cayetano’s rants at 30th SEAG closing rites

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“Peace be with you…”

MANILA, Philippines — Had it centered on the Games in itself and the impressive performances of National athletes, Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee chair and Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano’s closing ceremony speech could have been applauded to high heavens.

Instead, netizens had a field day assailing Cayetano’s long speech “that delved much on politics, cliches and his wife.

And that, because of Cayetano’s outbursts, somewhat spoiled what could have been an otherwise grand, athlete-centered affair Wednesday night at the close of 30th SEAG at the New Clark City in Tarlac.

Cayetano hogged the stage and punctuated his rants with a sarcastically “Peace be with you” line and sign.

Here are some unsavory remarks by netizens:

“I like it when Cayetano speaks on TV. He helps me lessen my electric bill,” said Twitter users @edjStark, which drew rejoinders from a number of fellow users of the microblogging platform.

“OMG I did the same thing,” said @ViancaEMartinez. “Then I thought he has finished, turned on the TV, only to see that he was still droning on and on. Turned it off again and just watched my dog play with his chew boy.”

“Savage,” according to @chikahontass and “No TV for me as well” from @loloy_15h.

“I think the speech should be athlete-centered, not Allan-centered,” said @princessmaiter.

Indeed, it was one captivating closing rites kick-started by the parade of nations and athletes and highlighted by a light drone show, the awarding of the overall championship to host Philippines, a series of numbers from Pinoy world-class performers, the handover of the hosting chores to Vietnam and the extinguishing of the P55 million SEA Games cauldron.

Then after a couple of speakers, Cayetano took the podium and delivered his piece, capping it with:

“For those of you who did not believe, for those of you who said this could not be done, for those of you who said this stadium will not be built on time, for those of you who said ‘sayang ang pera (waste of money), dapat hindi tayo nag-host (we should not have hosted),’ sa lahat ng nagkalat ng fake news (for all those who spread fake news), ang masasabi ko sa inyo, at ito itaga niyo sa bato: (what I can say to you, and you can cast this in stone): Peace be with you,” said Cayetano while flashing the peace sign.

With it, netizens hit it some more:

@RedMooFriends even made a breakdown of the speech: “90% — thanks to my friends and me, 5% — political something, 3% — his wife, 1.9% — repeating and playing with the tagline “We win as one” and 0.1% — thanks to our athletes.”

From @Tsukkill: “Ugh can Cayetano stfu? This is the worst ill-written speech I’ve ever heard, who wrote this? yikes”

“And you think you won the hearts of the Filipinos with that cringy speech of yours, Cayetano? Pasikat amp!” said @kahlan_001 while @itsbriankevin said: “Si Alan Peter Cayetano yung perfect example ng bida-bidang tao na di marunong lumugar.”

“The issues you are presenting are not an issue of the other countries. You should have selected a different venue/ceremonies.”

From @mydearLJ: “I think the speech should include more truthful inspiring words for the athletes and for each country which participated, not on the political side.”

It may be recalled that the organizing PHISGOC got extremely ridiculed by the public and media alike following a chaotic run-up to the Games — from transportation, accommodations, food, among others, prompting President Duterte to issue an apology to all those who were affected by all the snafus.

But these were all put into the backburner as soon as the first of games rolled on until the very final event was played.

An impressed Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) vice president Wei Jizhong even lauded PH and PHISGOC in itself for the well-run SEAG before adding that the country can even host “bigger-scale” events.

But perhaps, not necessarily under PHISGOC. (IAMIGO/CNS)

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