GMA/dzBB clears Del Prado; panel finds ‘no basis’ of payoff
MANILA, Philippines—GMA Network Inc. has cleared dzBB anchor Melo del Prado of allegations that he received pork barrel payoffs through the National Agribusiness Corp. (Nabcor).
A statement from Angela Javier Cruz, GMA assistant vice president for corporate communications, said Wednesday that an internal investigation conducted by a three-member panel found that Del Prado, or Carmelo del Prado Magdurulang, committed no wrongdoing.
The panel “found no basis to say that Del Prado, while working as an anchorman of GMA/dzBB, received any payoff from any legislator’s pork barrel.”
Cruz said the panel examined legitimate broadcast contracts, payment vouchers, statements of income taxes withheld and internal GMA forms and procedures. Everything was in order, she said.
Cruz said the payments received by Del Prado were legitimate and fully documented advertising transactions between him and the Department of Agriculture.
The affidavits of Nabcor’s Victor Cacal did not mention Del Prado or any payments he received from the agency, she said.
The Inquirer earlier reported that Nabcor issued three checks to Del Prado in 2009, which were all drawn from the same account in United Coconut Planters Bank.
Del Prado said he never doubted that he would be cleared because he had complete files for all his advertising engagements as a dzBB anchor. He also said he was grateful to the GMA management for its fairness and support.
Rey Pacheco denial
Also on Wednesday, broadcaster Rey Pacheco disputed an Inquirer report that he had received money from Janet Lim-Napoles, which was reportedly drawn from the accounts of her dubious nongovernment organizations.
In a statement, Pacheco said he was shocked and saddened by the report. “I have not received money from Mrs. Napoles based on the list of Benhur Luy,” he said.
He also said he did not personally know Luy and he could see no reason for his inclusion in the list.—Leila B. Salaverria
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.