Malacañang expects Tulfos to return P60M payment for ads
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang expects Ben and Erwin Tulfo to make good on their promise to return the P60 million paid by the Department of Tourism for ad placements in their show.
"They are the ones who said they would voluntarily return it so we're counting on their word of honor that if they said that, they will really return it," Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said in a news briefing on Thursday, May 31.
Just the day before, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said the funds have not yet been returned, despite the Tulfo brothers' promise as coursed through their lawyer, Ferdinand Topacio.
But Ramon, the eldest, said in his news column that Topacio was not speaking on behalf of the family when he mentioned the promise.
The P60 million is the payment for the controversial ad placements of the DOT, under then secretary Wanda Tulfo Teo, in the PTV-4 show of her siblings.
Teo resigned amid the controversy. A Commission on Audit report found that the contract signed by the DOT "specifically required" PTV to air ads on the Tulfo brothers' Kilos Pronto. (READ: FACT CHECK: Wanda Teo claims no hand in P60M ads, but DOT contract specified Bitag)
Asked if Malacañang intends to pursue cases against officials involved, Roque said it would be up to the Office of the Ombudsman which has since launched an investigation. The matter, however, could also be referred to the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC), he said. – Rappler.com