Kiko hopes Tulfo brothers would follow sister’s lead
Now that Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo has resigned from her post, will brothers Ben and Erwin Tulfo, who were dragged into the P60-million advertisement deal, follow suit?
Senator Francis Pangilinan, an opposition member, can only hope so.
Pangilinan expressed this in a text message on Tuesday when pressed to comment on Teo’s brothers whose company, Bitag Media Unlimited Inc.’s (BMUI), struck a deal to air Department of Tourism (DOT) ads.
Teo was cited for conflict of interest after a Commission on Audit report revealed that the DOT last year paid P60-million worth of advertisements on a government television program produced by her brother, Ben, and cohosted by another brother, Erwin, without documents showing the payments were valid and legal.
When asked if the TV program should be scrapped, Pangilinan responded, “Hindi naman kailangan yun pero dahil government station ang PTV-4, mas mainam kung kusa o voluntary na silang magbitiw bilang mga producer at anchor.”
[It is not needed but because PTV-4 is a government station, it would be better if they would voluntarily resign as producer and anchor [of the show]).]
“Sundan nila ang mga yapak ni Secretary Teo (They should follow Teo’s lead),” Pangilinan added.
Earlier, Atty. Ferdinand Topacio said Tulfo had promised to return the money to PTV-4.
Meanwhile, commending Teo’s move, Senator Bam Aquino said he believes that the management of PTV-4 has some explaining to do.
“Sa pagkakaalam ko kasi, ang block-timer, sila ang nagbabayad sa station,” Aquino said, referring to Bitag Media as the “block-timer” or buyer of air time on TV.
“The block-timer pays the station hindi the other way around, so yun pa lang medyo kataka-taka na,” Aquino said in a press briefing at the Senate.
“At baka kailangan nga pong ma-esplika sa hearing kung paano nangyari yun na yung blocktimer na dapat nagbabayad sa station e baligtad po ang nangyari at yung station ang nagbayad sa block-timer,” Aquino added.
The senator stressed that he has nothing personal against Teo or the Tulfo brothers.
“This is not personal against any of the Tulfos or against Secretary Teo. Gusto lang ho natin malaman paano po nangyari itong transaksyon na ito na hindi ho naging pabor sa ating taumbayan at paano po ito matitigil muli,” he said.
Meanwhile, Senator Nancy Binay has already filed a resolution calling for a Senate inquiry into the controversy.
Binay is the chairperson of the Senate Committees on Tourism, Cultural Communities, and Social Justice, Welfare and Rural Development. She is also the co-chairperson of the Joint Oversight Committee on Tourism./vvp/ac
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