Teo: No need to return P60M to DOT
EVEN former Tourism Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo thinks that her brother, TV host Ben Tulfo, should not return the P60 million paid by the Department of Tourism (DOT) for advertisements in Bitag Media’s “Kilos Pronto” show.
Tulfo-Teo gave a categorical “no” when Senator Risa Hontiveros asked if the money should be returned to the government.
A Commission on Audit (COA) report showed that the DOT ads placed on Tulfo’s “Kilos Pronto” show aired over PTV-4 did not have proper documentation showing that the payments were valid and legal.
When news of the COA broke out, Tulfo-Teo’s former lawyer, Ferdinand Topacio, announced that Bitag Media Unlimited Inc. (BMU) would return the money.
The former DOT chief admitted that Topacio had advised her to return the money and asked her brother if he could do it.
“But at the end of the day, it’s still PTV-4 and my brother that will decide kung ibabalik ang pera kasi ang bayad naman po namin ay sa PTV-4 (if they are going to return the money because we paid to PTV-4),” she said.
The former DOT chief acknowledged that it would be difficult to get the money back since the contract was already consummated and that her brother had already used the money to pay his people.
Asked by Hontiveros if she personally thinks the money should be returned, Tulfo-Teo said: “Hindi (No).”
Ben Tulfo, who was present in the hearing, insisted they would not return the money because there was nothing illegal in the transaction.
“Now, returning the money is tantamount to saying that we did something illegal,” he said.
“Wala ho sa isip ko na magsasauli kasi wala po akong ginawang illegal. Sa amin po, paninindigan po namin yung kontrata … Yung kontrata pong yan, legal po ito. Wala po kaming ginawang illegal,” he added.
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