DoJ ‘ready to investigate’ Tulfo ad deal

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By Arjay L. Balinbin, Reporter

THE Department of Justice (DoJ) on Wednesday said it is ready to investigate the controversial P60-million advertisement deal between former tourism secretary Wanda Corazon Tulfo-Teo and Bitag Media Unlimited, Inc.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador S. Panelo said last Tuesday the DoJ “will have to do something legally” regarding the said amount paid to Bitag Media Unlimited, Inc. for ad placements at government network PTV-4 that the Commission on Audit (CoA) and the DoT, under its new head Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, want returned to the government.

In a phone message to BusinessWorld, Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra said when sought for comment: “I have not received any formal directive from the Palace regarding this matter. As far as I know, the appropriate complaint has been lodged with the Office of the Ombudsman.”

He added, “But if the DoJ’s assistance is needed, we are ready to investigate and take legal action any time.”

Ms. Tulfo-Teo and her brothers prompted criticism last year over the deal. Erwin T. Tulfo drew controversy anew for berating retired major general and now Social Welfare Secretary Rolando D. Bautista in his Radyo Pilipinas program

In a news conference at the Palace last Tuesday, Mr. Panelo said: “The Palace always wants that laws are not only enforced but are obeyed to its fullest extent. As we said, there are no sacred cows in this government, friends or allies.”