Teo’s explanation for DOT’s P60-M ad lame–Ping
While saying he wouldn’t prejudge her, Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson described as “lame” and “incredible” Tourism Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo’s explanation for her agency’s placement of P60-million worth of advertisements to a PTV4 show produced by her brother Ben Tulfo.
“In practical terms, if you’re the head of the agency and you’re setting aside money out of your budget for ads, you should also be interested if it will be effective or not,” Lacson said at a news forum on Thursday.
“You should have a cost-benefit [analysis] as they say. So for me, it seems lame to give an excuse that you don’t know anything about it. It seems incredible,” he said in Filipino.
Lacson said there was clearly an issue of “ethics and appropriateness” about the decision of the Department of Tourism to sign a contract with government-run People’s Network Television Inc. (PTNI) for the advertising deal with Tulfo’s Bitag Media Unlimited Inc.
The Commission on Audit last week flagged the P60-million deal in its 2017 audit of PTNI, saying payments made to Bitag Media did not have supporting documents proving they were valid and legal.
Asked whether he thought Teo should step down, Lacson said it would be more prudent to wait for the result of Malacañang’s investigation. But the senator said there was certainly something fishy about the deal.
“Although she’s saying she had nothing to do with where the money went … if we analyze this issue, being laymen, you will see that something is not really appropriate when it comes to this point,” he said. —DJ YAP
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