Former Tourism chief may face graft charges over PTV ad deal

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The Commission on Audit flagged a possible “conflict of interest” among the Tulfo siblings over the P120-million Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) between the Department of Tourism (DoT) and PTV.

The CoA report also cited this may be ground to file graft charges against former Tourism secretary Wanda Corazon Tulfo-Teo.

“Considering that the DoT secretary and the producer of Kilos Pronto are siblings, there is a possible conflict of interest which may be a violation of Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act,” CoA stated.

The DoT signed a deal with PTV in March 2017 to broadcast the agency’s media campaign for one year. The MoA stated in detail the ad placement, which includes 6-minute DoT segments aired during the Kilos Pronto program three times a week and a 3 minute or 6 30-second DoT spots within the program from Monday to Friday.

Sought for comment, Ferdinand S. Topacio, legal counsel of Ms. Teo, said the CoA report is “merely preliminary and inconclusive as far as the criminal liability of my client is concerned.”

“There is as as yet not even one criminal complaint against former Secretary Teo, and therefore it is not only premature but unseemly for CoA to be making such pronouncements,” Mr. Topacio told BusinessWorld in a text message, Thursday. — Charmaine A. Tadalan