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Ombudsman was wrong: COA ordered PTV to refund Tulfo payment

The Commission on Audit will resolve the appeal on the disallowances, but if they are upheld, Ben Tulfo and PTV must return P75 million

10/14/2021 11:40:00 PM

The Commission on Audit will resolve the appeal on the disallowances, but if they are upheld, Ben Tulfo and PTV must return P75 million.

The Commission on Audit will resolve the appeal on the disallowances, but if they are upheld, Ben Tulfo and PTV must return P75 million

Lian BuanThe Commission on Audit (COA) had issued notices of disallowance (NDs) against P75.8 million worth of payments of state-run Peoples' Television (PTV) to Ben Tulfo's Bitag Media over a controversial tourism advertisement deal – contrary to what the Office of the Ombudsman said in its ruling

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dismissing a graft complaintagainst those involved.In clearing Tulfo, PTV executives, and Tulfo's sister, former tourism secretary Wanda Teo, of graft, the ruling approved by Ombudsman Samuel Martires on October 6 said that"there is no evidence on record showing that [the transaction] had ripened to a Notice of Suspension (NS) or Notice of Disallowance (ND)."

A countercheck of the2020 audit of PTV, which was uploaded on August 17 or a month before the first draft of ruling by Graft Investigation and Prosecution Officer Rosano Oliva on September 30, would show that there were in fact NDs – two of them way back 2019. headtopics.com

The audit shows that COA issued two NDs to PTV, one in May for P60,009,560 worth of payments to Bitag, and another in June for 15,789,133.70 worth of payments to Bitag. An ND has the consequence of a refund.According to the audit report, these two NDs are under appeal.

It brings up two questions: Did the Ombudsman's Field Investigation Office (FIO), which acted as the complainant, fail to put the NDs on record? Could Oliva, or Martires, have been more proactive in researching since the audit report has been up on the website since August 17, or a month before the first draft of the resolution?

The project involvesan agency-to-agency procurement where the Department of Tourism (DOT), then under Teo, would air promotional materials on PTV, with much less viewership than the major networks. PTV then outsourced it to their blocktimer Bitag Media owned by Teo's brother Tulfo, who earned P75 million from the deal.

The Ombudsman ruling said there was no crime of graft in awarding the project to the brother of an official making the payment.AuditsThe ruling did take note of the audit observations, which include the lack of proper documents, but went on to claim that there was no ND anyway. headtopics.com

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The ruling did say that:"Even granting for the sake of argument that an NS or ND had in fact been issued, there is nothing on record showing that it had gained finality as there are other legal remedies under the COA rules of Procedure which are available to respondents."

The FIO can file a motion for reconsideration. Meanwhile, COA will have to resolve the appeal. If the appeals are dismissed by the commission, Tulfo and PTV would have to return P75 million.Even the amount was undervalued in the ruling. The ruling said only P66.32 million was paid to Bitag Media. A document earlier obtained through Freedom of Information (FOI) showed that as of May 2018, the gross amount of payment was P74.6 million and the net amount was P71.06 million.

Teo had said that she didn't know Bitag Media was owned by her brother Ben, nor did she have any involvement in PTV's outsourcing of the project to Bitag. PTV executives said they were not aware that Teo and Tulfo were siblings. It also didn't appear that there was bidding, since PTV readily gave Bitag a contract after a visit to Tulfo's office.

But in all of these acts, the Ombudsman said there was no conspiracy and cleared them all. Read more: Rappler »

Ang Lihim ni Annasandra

Dinakma kasi ni ben yung milyones, alam naman niyang para sa government program yun at hindi para sa block timer na show gaya ng bitag, bayaran mo yun huy, kurakot ka rin eh tina_quila OmbudsmanPh Head Martires isn’t acting as an Ombudsman but as a lackey of Duterte and his cronies. It will not come as a surprise if Martires also dismisses the Pharmally case. He, along with Calida, are not acting on behalf of public interests but only the interest of a few.

Eto ang totoong bayarang media. Hala...anyare ombudsman? Pati ba naman kayo corrupt na? 🙄 Ngiting 75 million Clearly, the decision wasn’t based on facts. Meron ba yagbols ang Ombudsman na aminin nila na merin sila nakaligtaan? Si Martires yong gustong e-abolish sariling opisina nya, ang Office of the Ombudsman.

This Ombudsman is clearly not doing his job. He should be impeached or fired by the Filipino people.

'No conspiracy': Ombudsman clears Teo, PTV, Tulfo in P120-M ad deal'Nowhere was it directly shown that Secretary Teo was aware that Kilos Pronto is owned by Ben Tulfo, her sibling,' says the resolution. Actually di po alam ng mga Tulfo na magkakapatid sila. The obvious is the OMBUDSMAN instead of combating corruption is now the primary protector of the corrupt in support of Duterte’s minions. The very reason why Duterte appointed him to the position. May Martires name go down in our history books as obnoxious as Duterte and Marcos… It can be refiled. No problrm.

Di pwedeng ibalik lang yung P75M, ano gago lang ang mga Pinoy? Appointed kc ni kanor ang ombudsman.. What can we expect 🌸🌸🌸 OmbudsmanPh saan po daw kayo magexile kung wala na si Du30? May nagtatanong lang po. Humanda ka na bitagbentulfo Ganun na ba labanan ngayon? Kahit may mga obviuos na evidences na kurakutan...IBABALIK na lang, wala ng kaso. Buti nga sana kung ibabalik,,yung isang senador nga dyan HINDI na binalik kahit pa inutusan ng ibalik yung mga ninakaw.

'No conspiracy': Ombudsman clears Teo, PTV, Tulfo in P120-M ad deal'Nowhere was it directly shown that Secretary Teo was aware that Kilos Pronto is owned by Ben Tulfo, her sibling,' says the resolution. Actually di po alam ng mga Tulfo na magkakapatid sila. The obvious is the OMBUDSMAN instead of combating corruption is now the primary protector of the corrupt in support of Duterte’s minions. The very reason why Duterte appointed him to the position. May Martires name go down in our history books as obnoxious as Duterte and Marcos… It can be refiled. No problrm.

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