MANILA Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque on Monday said that it will be up to the Office of the Ombudsman if it will start a probe or file charges against parties involved in the PHP60 million advertisement deal between the Department of Tourism (DOT) and state-run PTV 4.
Roque made this remark after Bitag Media Unlimited Inc. (BMI), owned by broadcaster Ben Tulfo, said it would return the PHP60 million it received after airing advertisements of the DOT.
Tulfo was dragged into the controversy since he is the brother of DOT Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo.
Teo, however, denied reports that she signed a contract with her brother's production company, noting that it was a government-to-government contract that went through bidding.
When asked if it was legal to return the PHP60 million without being charged, Roque said simply said that no one has filed charges against any of the parties involved in the ad deal.
Well, they could do whatever they want po 'no dahil ngayon wala pa naman pong kaso (because at present, there's no case yet). As to whether or not a charge will be forthcoming, I cannot also say what the Ombudsman will do, Roque said in a Palace briefing.
Aside from there being no charges being filed, Roque said that he had no clue to whom the amount would be returned.
I do not know kung kanino nila ibabalik iyan (who they will return it to) and I do not know kung ano ang magiging ramification ng pagbalik ng halagang iyan (what are the ramifications of returning that amount), Roque said.
Roque said that President Rodrigo R. Duterte himself did not have any decision on the matter as of posting time.
The Commission on Audit earlier said the DOT paid PHP60 million for the ad placements in the PTV 4 show Kilos Pronto, which is produced and hosted by Secretary Teo's brothers Ben and Erwin Tulfo.
She said the ad placements were done at PTV 4's discretion since her brothers' show had high ratings. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency