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PANACANANG, DAVAO CITY – President Rodrigo R. Duterte said the national government would have to trace the paperwork on the P2.5 million supposedly owed to Olympic silver medalist Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco.
Velasco reportedly said that the government promised to give him P2.5 million, but the paperwork for the process got lost along the way.
In a briefing with reporters late Thursday, Duterte said he was willing to give what was due to the athlete but that it should be within the bounds of law.
“Who made the promise? Maybe we should ask them,” Duterte said.
According to Duterte, if the amount was really due to Velasco, the government should include it under a line item in the General Appropriations Act, lest he be charged with malversation of public funds.
Duterte made this comment while also saying that there should be more support for sports in the country.
Duterte sat alongside Rio Olympics silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz, who finished second her weightlifting event in Brazil.
Diaz said that the support given to the Philippine team during the sendoff at the Malacañang Palace meant a lot to them as they were headed to represent the country in the annual sporting event.
Duterte said he had a few words with the athletes during the event.
“Sabi ko, ‘do your best for the country. The honor is there, go for it. It will be a long quest. It will be a tedious one,’” Duterte bared. “If you bring some honor to the country, I’d be happy.”
Diaz dropped by Panacanang late Thursday for a courtesy call with the President. (YAS OCAMPO)