Duterte invited to Tokyo Olympics, PSC chief says

Philippine News Agency

July 3, 2021

MANILA – Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman Butch Ramirez disclosed that President Rodrigo Duterte has been invited to watch the Tokyo Olympics scheduled from July 23 to August 8.

"Ang Presidente, may slot doon sa IOC na inayunan ng national Olympic committee (The President has a slot from the IOC [International Olympic Committee], which was agreed upon by [Japan’s] national Olympic Committee)," Ramirez told Radyo Pilipinas 2 during the PSC Hour program on Friday.

He said he and PSC chief of staff Marc Velasco would fly to Tokyo as part of the delegation regardless of Duterte's decision whether to go, which means three government officials might watch the Tokyo Olympics if the President indeed joins the delegation.

"Tama lang na nandoon kami (It is right that we should be there) for whatever the needs of the athletes financially. I don't want to be reprimanded from our government for remiss of the support of these athletes," Ramirez said.

What could prevent Duterte from attending at least the first few days, however, is that his final State of the Nation Address (SONA) as Chief Executive is scheduled on July 26, well within the Olympic period, although he can opt to travel there after the SONA.

Another potential roadblock is the possibility of holding the entire Tokyo Olympics behind closed doors due to rising coronavirus disease 2019 cases in the Japanese capital.

The Philippines has 19 representatives to the Tokyo Olympics. (PNA)

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