Gordon: Tulfos may be held liable for graft, not plunder
Senator Richard Gordon believes that the Tulfos may be held liable for graft, not plunder, in connection with the P60-million advertising deal between the Department of Tourism (DOT) and state-run PTV-4.
Gordon is chairman of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee which conducted on Tuesday its first hearing on the controversial deal that was approved during the time of former Tourism Secretary WandaTulfo-Teo.
While there was nothing wrong with the DOT placing ads with state-run PTV-4, Gordon noted that the ad was placed on the show produced and co-hosted by Tulfo-Teo’s siblings Ben and Erwin Tulfo.
“…Dapat nahagip nila na (They should have seen that) there was clear conflict of interest,” Gordon said after the hearing.
“The Tulfos are not exactly invisible, they are very prominent so dapat nakita nila agad yun (they should have immediately seen that) and they should have protected themselves from that. That’s graft and corruption,” he added.
The senator clarified though that only Tulfo- Teo and Ben Tulfo may be held liable, but not their other sibling, Erwin.
It may be difficult, he said, to pursue a plunder case against the Tulfos since the money was spent on advertising.
“I don’t think you can make a case for plunder,” Gordon said, explaining that the money was used for TV advertising; it wasn’t pocketed.
“Nag negosyo sila, yun ang masama e. Yung negosyo mukhang nabigyan ng ayuda yung negosyo ng kapatid (They have a business.That business received a boost from the sibling),”Gordon pointed out.
The senator still could not believe the former DOT chief’s claim that she was not aware that the ad placement would be given to her brother.
During the hearing, Tulfo-Teo repeatedly said she was not aware that the show “Kilos Pronto” with the PTV-4 was produced and co-hosted by her siblings.
Gordon said the Tulfos would still be liable even if they return the money.
Ben Tulfo insisted he would not return the money since he said there was nothing illegal about the contract. /ee
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