Palace: Return of P60-M won't exonerate parties in ad row

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 08 2018 04:33 PM | Updated as of May 08 2018 04:34 PM

MANILA - The return of P60 million in ad money to the government by a television production outfit run by former tourism secretary Wanda Teo's brother "will not completely exonerate" the parties from possible charges, Malacanang said Tuesday.

Teo resigned late Monday following public uproar over a Commission on Audit report that questioned tourism ad placements on Bitag Media Unlimited Inc's "Kilos Pronto." The show aired on state-run PVT-4.

The return of the P60 million is a "good gesture" but "it will not completely exonerate" those involved if ever laws were violated, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.

Roque said he hoped that the Ombudsman's investigation on the transaction would be "fast and transparent."

The return of the money was a gesture of "good faith and goodwill," said Teo's lawyer, Ferdinand Topacio. The former tourism chief's husband also resigned from the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority.