MANILAPresident Rodrigo R. Duterte has named Agriculture Undersecretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat as new Tourism Secretary replacing newly resigned Wanda Tulfo-Teo.
??This was confirmed by Special Assistant to the President Christopher Bong Go in a message to reporters on Tuesday night.??
Go did not give further details about Puyat's appointment.??
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Tuesday afternoon confirmed that Teo had submitted her resignation to the Office of the Executive Secretary before the meeting with the President on Monday night.
He said Duterte accepted Teo's resignation.??
Teo tendered her resignation after the Commission on Audit (COA) questioned the PHP60-million payment by the DOT for ad placements on a television show hosted by her brothers Ben and Erwin Tulfo on PTV 4, a state-run TV network.??
Teo's lawyer, Ferdinand Topacio, said Bitag Media Unlimited, Inc., owned and hosted by the Tulfo brothers, would return DOT's payment for its commercials on "Kilos Pronto".??
Topacio, however, denied Teo's resignation was an admission of guilt.??
He said Teo decided to step down after a long and deliberate reflection and soul-searching with respect to the events that have transpired the past few weeks.??
Topacio also clarified that Duterte did not demand Teo to resign, and that the decision was purely of her own volition.??
He reiterated that Teo has done no wrongdoing and that all the dealings of the DOT went through all legal processes, were above-board and done in good faith and with total absence of malice.??
Teo, he said, has done her best to promote tourism both domestically and internationally.??
Roque, meanwhile, said that it will be up to the Office of the Ombudsman to determine if there is a probable cause to file charges against Teo. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency