Teo’s lawyer insists Ben Tulfo said he would return P60M to DOT
The lawyer of former Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo maintained that Teo’s brother, Ben Tulfo, told him he would return the P60 million he received from the Department of Tourism (DOT) as payment for advertisements in his show at state-run PTV-4.
“May 3 po siya nagtext na tatawag siya. Nababanaag ko sa kanyang tinig na he was in pain dahil doon sa nangyaring P60 million na ‘yun na tinanggap ng Bitag [Media]… at sabi nga niya ibabalik niya ‘yung pera,” said lawyer Ferdinand Topacio in an interview over DZBB on Sunday.
(He sent a text message on May 3. I can sense from his voice that he was in pain because of the P60 million that Bitag Media received… he said he will return the money.)
Tulfo recently insisted that he would not return the money which he denied stealing from the government.
Topacio said he has no idea why Tulfo retracted his earlier pronouncement.
“Sabi nga lang niya sa akin, hindi agad-agad (maibabalik) sapagkat iyan ay hindi naman dumating [ng buo] ‘yung P60 million… Sabi niya may napaggastusan na raw ‘yan, production etc.,” he said.
(He said that he won’t be able to return it immediately because they also didn’t receive it in full. Part of it was already spent for production, etc. )
“Kung hindi totoo na sinabi niya sa akin na ibabalik niya, bakit ngayon lang po niya itinanggi? Agosto na po ngayon eh. Eh May 7 ko in-announce na magbabalik siya (ng pera)… kung sana di po totoo ‘yun, nag-react agad siya,” he added.
(If it’s not true that he told me he will return the money, why is he is denying it only now? It’s already August, I announced that he will return the money on May 7. He should have retracted his statement immediately.)
The controversy surrounding the DOT ad placements on Tulfo’s show, “Kilos Pronto” led to Teo’s resignation as tourism chief.
The Commission on Audit flagged the ad placements as a case of conflict of interest and a possible violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. /ee
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