Press Release
May 13, 2017

Koko commends, congratulates Zubiri as PhilSOC head

Senate President Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III has filed a Senate resolution, commending and congratulating Sen. Juan Miguel "Migz" Zubiri for his recent appointment by President Rodrigo Duterte as chairman of the 2019 Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee (PhilSOC).

"He must be commended for taking up the challenge of steering the PhilSOC to surpass the performance of the Philippines in the 2005 SEA Games with the hopes of achieving our second overall championship," said Pimentel in his Senate Resolution No. 372 that was filed last May 10.

The Philippines will take over as venue of the 30th edition of the biennial SEA Games after Brunei begged off as host of the multi-nation event, featuring athletes from Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Brunei, Timor Leste and host the Philippines.

Hosting the SEA Games is a daunting task and Zubiri, said Pimentel, is well suited for the chairmanship post being an athlete himself who is committed to take charge of the local buildup to prove to the international community that the resiliency and determination of Filipino athletes are unparalleled.

As PhilSOC chairman, Zubiri will represent both President Duterte and the government in overseeing preparations for the Games to include, among others, the competition venues and hotel requirements of the athletes and both the local and international promotions of the event.

The Opening and Closing Ceremonies are always considered of equal importance to the competitions in the various sporting arenas, said Pimentel, adding that the event will become an opportune time to showcase the rich cultural heritage and economic growth of the country.

When Manila last hosted the SEA Games, talents from the different fiesta celebrations in the country such as the Sinulog of Cebu, the Masskara of Bacolod City, the Dinagyang of Iloilo City and the venerable Ati-Atihan of Aklan stole the spotlight in the Opening Ceremonies.

The Philippines first hosted the SEA Games in 1981 which marked the so-called "renaissance" in local sports with the rise of the legendary sprinter Lydia de Vega and the dominance of the Filipino boxers in the ring, the archers in the field, the cyclists in the velodrome and the bowlers in the alleys.

But it was in 2005 when the Games returned to the country for the second time that the Filipinos stamped their class over the field, seizing the overall championship for the first and last time by bagging 113 gold medals, 84 silvers and 94 bronzes to cap a sterling buildup.

Pimentel said Zubiri's critical role in directing the preparations for the Games in close collaboration with the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) over and above his equally important functions as senator is worth commending and supporting by the public.

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