Teo, Tulfos firm in not returning controversial P60M tourism ad money

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 14 2018 06:15 PM | Updated as of Aug 14 2018 06:17 PM

Teo, Tulfos firm in not returning controversial P60M tourism ad money 1
Broadcaster Ben Tulfo, former Tourism Chief Wanda Teo, and Erwin Tulfo. Composite

MANILA- Siblings Wanda Teo, Ben, and Erwin Tulfo came under fire Tuesday as lawmakers grilled them over the P60-million in tourism advertisements aired on the brothers' show "Kilos Pronto."

During the legislative inquiry, the siblings aired their sides over several allegations being hurled against them. 

CONSPIRACY?

Amid allegations of conspiracy over the advertising deal, Teo revealed that she was unaware of her brother, Ben's involvement in the show "Kilos Pronto."

"I didn't know that Kilos Pronto is of Ben Tulfo. All I know is that he is Bitag," she said.

Erwin denied involvement in the controversial advertising deal, saying he is merely a talent of his brother Ben's Bitag Media.

"Ano naman ho kinalaman ko sa pondo na 'yan ng DOT? Eh besides nung dumating ako sa programa na 'yan nagsimula na 'yang advertisement na 'yan," he said.

(What is my involvement in the funds of the DOT? Besides, when I arrived at that program, that advertisement has already begun.)

Ben claimed that he has no contact with the Department of Tourism and that it was PTV that tapped Bitag for the advertisements.

He also revealed that he has a distant relationship with his siblings except with Erwin.

"Ang relasyon ho namin hindi ho close, FYI. Kalat naman ho sa media yan. I mean kami ho ng isa kong kapatid para kaming langis at tubig, hindi kami pwede ihalo," he said.

(We are not close, FYI. That is known in the media. I mean one of my siblings and I are like oil and water, we cannot be mixed.)

WHOSE DECISION?

The Tulfo siblings and PTV President Dino Apolonio gave conflicting answers on who made the decision to place the tourism advertisements on Ben's "Kilos Pronto."

Apolonio said the tourism department initially suggested that the advertisements be placed on "Kilos Pronto."

Teo, however, denied this, saying PTV "made the proposal and in the proposal, there was already Kilos Pronto." 
 
Apolonio hit back, saying the DOT could reject their proposal.

"The proposal we submitted ay pwede naman palitan or i-reject (can be changed or rejected)," he said. 

ILLEGAL?

Teo maintained that there was nothing illegal in the advertising deal since all payments were made to the state television PTV.

"With confidence, I can say there was nothing illegal in the contract. The transaction was between DOT and PTV-4. It was a government-to-government contract and all payments were made directly to PTV-4," she said.

Ben, meanwhile, questioned why they should return the money when they have "faithfully delivered" their obligations. 

"Wala pong conflict of interest dahil una sa lahat wala po kaming kontrata sa DOT," he said.

(There is no conflict of interest because in the first place we have no contract with the DOT.)

RETURNING THE MONEY?

Both Ben and Teo said the money from the advertising deal should not be returned.

"Returning the money is tantamount to saying that we did something illegal," Ben said. 

"Wala ho sa isip ko magsasauli [ng pera] kasi wala akong ginawang ilegal," he added.

(It has not crossed my mind to return the money since I have not done anything illegal.)

Teo for her part explained that the contract has been completed hence the money should no longer be returned.

"Natapos na po kasi ang kontrata. Nagastos na po iyung pera... saan kukunin ang pera pambayad?" she said.

(The contract has been completed. The money has been spent. Where will the payment come from?) 

This, despite Teo's lawyer, Ferdinand Topacio's earlier remarks that Tulfo would return the money.

Erwin meanwhile said he has no money to return since he is not a part of the deal.

"Wala ho akong sinabi na di ko isasauli [yung pera], hindi po ako kasama. I am not a part of Bitag Media Unlimited...Wala po akong kinalaman," he said.

(I did not say that I will not return [the money] since I am not a part...I had nothing to do with it.)