Malacañang is counting on the commitment of the Tulfo brothers to return the P60 million paid by the Department of Tourism (DOT) to state-run PTV-4 for advertisements placed in the program produced by Bitag Media Unlimited Inc.
“It’s up to the Tulfos since they are the ones who said they will voluntarily return it. So we’re counting on their word of honor. If they said they will return it, they should,” said presidential spokesperson Harry Roque.
READ: Bitag Media to return P60M pay for DOT ad placements – lawyer
Roque was reacting to Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat’s revelation that the P60 million had not been returned to the government.
The lawyer of resigned Tourism Secretary Wanda Tulfo Teo, Ferdinand Topacio, said on May 7 that Ben Tulfo, who owns Bitag Media Unlimited Inc., had pledged to return the P60 million paid to his company by the DOT.
Teo, Ben’s sister, said she did not know that the ads would be aired on her brother’s show.
Roque said it would be up to the Office of the Ombudsman and the Presidential Anti-Graft Commission (PAGC) to file corruption charges against those involved in the placement of the DOT advertisement, which was red-flagged by the Commission on Audit.
He said the DOT secretary had no legal personality to file corruption cases.
“The mandate of President Duterte is to stamp out corruption…The Ombudsman is there, and the PAGC is there,” Roque said.
“In case the Ombudsman is unable to act on it immediately, we can refer this to the PAGC,” he added. /ee