President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Tuesday evening, May 8, named Department of Agriculture (DA) Undersecretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat as the new chief of the Department of Tourism (DoT), a few hours after he accepted the resignation of the agency’s former secretary, Wanda Corazon Tulfo-Teo.
The President’s special assistant, Christopher “Bong” T. Go, confirmed this through a text message to Palace reporters on Tuesday evening.
Ms. Teo’s lawyer, Ferdinand S. Topacio, said in a press conference on Tuesday afternoon that his client resigned over the P60-million DoT advertisement issue, involving her brothers, Bienvenido “Ben” T. Tulfo of media company Bitag Media and broadcaster Erwin T. Tulfo of PTV-4.
In his press statement, Mr. Topacio explained that his client’s decision to leave her position “was made after a long and deliberate reflection and soul-searching with respect to the events that have transpired the past few weeks.”
He also clarified that there was “no demand made on the part of the President for Ms. Teo to resign, and that the decision to do so was purely of her own volition.”
“Secretary Teo reiterates that she 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,” Mr. Topacio added. — Arjay L. Balinbin