DOT chief wants COA to decide on agency’s P60M ad deal with PTNI
The Department of Tourism (DoT) will now leave it up to the Commission on Audit (COA) to determine if there were irregularities in the P60-million advertising deal the agency had with the state-run People’s Television Network Inc. (PTNI).
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said on Wednesday that the agency has yet to receive the money that the media company owned by Ben Tulfo, brother of resigned Tourism Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo, reportedly planned to return.
“Hindi pa nababalik (Not yet returned),” Puyat said in an interview at the Senate, “As of now, parang hindi pa.”
Puyat reiterated that she would also leave it to the COA to answer all questions related to the controversial DOT contracts.
It was Ben Tulfo’s lawyer, Ferdinand Topacio, who earlier said that Bitag Media Unlimited Inc. would return the money to the DOT.
In an interview on radio station DZMM last May 7, Topacio said Ben Tulfo told him that they decided to return the money they received from PTV4 money up to the last centavo.
“As a gesture of good faith and goodwill, and to show na wala po silang malisya dito sa (that there is no malice in the) ad placement, ay ibabalik na po nila ‘yong pera ASAP (they will return the money as soon as possible),” the lawyer added.
But Ramon Tulfo, the eldest of the Tulfo brothers, belied the lawyer’s claim that they agreed to return the money. /ee
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