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Palace on Tulfos' return of P60-M: We're counting on their word of honor.

Malacanang is expecting the Tulfo brothers to return the controversial P60 million paid by the Department of Tourism (DOT) for s placed in the Tulfos' show on state-run PTV-4.

'It's up to the Tulfos now since they are the ones who voluntarily said that they would return it, so we're counting on their word of honor that if they will return it, and they said that they will really return it,' Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said in a Palace briefing on Thursday.

Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat on Wednesday said the Bitag Media Unlimited Inc. has not returned the P60 million paid to the media outfit for the ad placements of the tourism agency.

'It has not been returned,' Puyat said after her confirmation at the Senate.

Lawyer Ferdinand Topacio on May 7 said that Ben Tulfo of Bitag Media has promised to return the money.

But in Ramon Tulfo's column in the Inquirer published on May 10, he said that 'when Topacio said the Tulfo brothers, in a family meeting, had decided to return the P60 million, the guy was talking for himself.

'I was never consulted. Nor were Ben, Erwin, or Raffy. And why would I return the money that I never got in the first place?' he said.

Former tourism secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo was in hot water after the Commission on Audit (COA) showed that the DOT last year paid P60 million worth of s on a government television program produced by her brother, Ben, and co-hosted by another brother, Erwin, without proper documents.

Asked if the Palace would pursue charges against Teo and other officials involved, Roque said Malacanang was leaving it to the Ombudsman to investigate and file charges.

He also said that the issue would also be referred to the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC).

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:May 31, 2018
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