MANILA - Senator Antonio Trillanes IV on Wednesday said he will file plunder charges against former Tourism Sec. Wanda Teo and media personalities Ben and Erwin Tulfo over a P60-million advertising controversy.
The siblings faced the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee Tuesday to disprove allegations that they committed conflict of interest when the Department of Tourism (DOT), then led by Teo, paid P60 million in advertising fees to state television blocktimer "Kilos Pronto" which is hosted by her brothers Ben and Erwin.
"Walang basehan kung bakit sila maglalagay ng advertisement sa isang programa na mababa ang rating," Trillanes said in a statement.
(There is no basis on why they should place advertisements in a program that has low ratings.)
"Hindi rin kapani-paniwala ang alibi ni former DOT Secretary Teo na hindi niya alam na ang kanyang sariling kapatid na si Ben Tulfo ang may-ari ng Kilos Pronto," he said.
(The alibi of former DOT Secretary Teo that she was unaware that her brother Ben Tulfo owned Kilos-Pronto is unbelievable.)
Plunder charges will also be filed against Erwin even if he told senators that he was just an employee of the program.
"Napaamin si Erwin Tulfo na nakinabang siya sa transaksyong ito dahil siya ay kumikita ng P150,000 na suweldo kada episode o mahigit P3 milyon kada buwan," Trillanes said.
The TV and radio host earlier told senators that their family is ready to face charges that will be filed against them.
The family also refused to return the P60 million advertising funds to the government.
"Returning the money is tantamount to saying that we did something illegal," Ben Tulfo told senators.
- with a report from Sherrie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News