Wanda Teo resigns as Tourism chief


Posted at May 08 2018 12:25 PM | Updated as of May 08 2018 06:02 PM

Wanda Teo resigns as Tourism chief 1
President Rodrigo Duterte and Tourism Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo at the Cabinet meeting Monday night. Handout photo from Special Assistant to the President Bong Go

MANILA - (2nd UPDATE) Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo has submitted her resignation letter to President Rodrigo Duterte out of "delicadeza," her lawyer said Tuesday.

In a press briefing on Tuesday afternoon, Teo's lawyer Ferdinand Topacio said the Cabinet member "wants to show that she has delicadeza," amid accusations from critics that she used her position to give income to her brothers' television show. 

"She is merely a public official who did what she thinks is the right thing to do at the right moment," he added.

Teo has come under fire after the Commission on Audit revealed the placement of P60 million in tourism ads to Kilos Pronto, a blocktimer show on PTV-4, despite lack of a memorandum of agreement or contract. 

Kilos Pronto is produced and hosted by Teo's brothers Ben and Erwin Tulfo.

"Her letter was personally handed by her to Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea in the [Monday] afternoon," he said in an earlier statement.

"Her 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," Topacio said.

Contrary to initial reports, the President did not demand for her resignation, Topacio said.

"Sec. 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," Topacio said.

Teo earlier said there was no conflict of interest with the P60 million "segment buy" because DOT entered the contract with PTV-4, not Kilos Pronto's producer.

COA, however, noted that there was a memorandum of agreement on file between the tourism department and the government-owned station to air the tourism ads on the Tulfo show. 

On Monday, the media outfit that runs Kilos Pronto said it will return the P60 million in ad money.

Topacio said the Tulfos had decided to return the money “to show their good faith and their goodwill.”