Roberto Teo has ‘long resigned’ from TIEZA: Palace

MANILA Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) board member Roberto Teo has long resigned but only remained in TIEZA because there was no one to replace him, MalacaAang said on Monday.

Mr.Teo, husband of Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo, was dragged into controversy when critics slammed his being TIEZA board member as conflict of interest and nepotism.

Mr. Teo is TIEZA board member, representing Travel and Tours Enterprises, while his wife serves as TIEZA chairperson. He was appointed by President Benigno Aquino III on Feb. 14, 2014.

Mr. Teo was an appointee of President Aquino into TIEZA and he has long tendered his resignation pero wala pa pong kapalit kaya daw po nandodoon pa siya (but he has no replacement that's why he remained there), Roque said in a Palace briefing.

Roque, however, said that Mr. Teo will no longer be attending meetings to avoid controversy. He did not give further details about the date when Mr. Teo officially tendered his resignation.

Pero ngayon po daw ata sinabi niya hindi na talaga siya pupunta sa mga meetings. Ang natatakot lang daw po siya ay yung dereliction of duty dahil pag wala pang kapalit baka naman sabihin bakit mo naman binakante? (But I think now he said that he will no longer attend meetings. He said that his fear was to be accused of dereliction of duty because while there's no replacement, he might be questioned for leaving his post), he added.

Despite leaving his TIEZA post, critics said that Mr. Teo's appointment as a board member of a subsidiary of Land Bank of the Philippines, the LBP Leasing and Finance Corp. on June 2, 2017, was still conflict of interest.

This time it was President Rodrigo R. Duterte who appointed Mr. Teo to the Land Bank subsidiary.

Roque refused to comment since he was not aware of the reported appointment.

As Presidential spokesperson, I am not aware of appointments even to government-owned and controlled corporations," Roque said.

At present, Roque said a replacement for Mr. Teo has yet to be announced.

The controversy hounding the Teos started when the Commission on Audit (COA) said the DOT paid PHP60 million for the ad placement in the PTV 4 show Kilos Pronto, which is produced and hosted by Secretary Teo's brothers, Ben and Erwin Tulfo.

Its findings showed that there was no memorandum of agreement signed to air the ads.

Teo denied reports that she signed a contract under a production company under her brothers, noting that it was a government-to-government contract that went through bidding.

She said the ad placements were done at PTV 4's discretion since her brothers' show had high ratings.

On Monday, Secretary Teo's legal counsel and spokesperson, Ferdinand Topacio, said that the Tulfo brothers' Bitag Media Unlimited Inc., which runs the Kilos Pronto program where the ads were placed, have agreed to return the PHP60 million it received. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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