P60-M ad contract was irregular

The issue about the supposed irregular P60-million advertising contract that my sister, former Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo, and my brother, Ben, entered into with the government’s PTV-4 network is being brought up as an issue against President Digong.

I hail the Commission on Audit for flagging the contract.

My critics are having a field day.

I don’t blame them. No matter from what angle you look at it, the contract was irregular for Wanda to pour in hundreds of millions of pesos in advertisements with PTV 4, where Ben is a private contractor.

It was conflict of interest, on Wanda’s part.

Critics have been hounding the President, saying that Wanda and Ben are being spared because of his close friendship with me.

I, as the Tulfo patriarch, therefore urge Malacañang and other agencies to investigate Ben and Wanda.

I also ask that other officials of PTV 4, who were allegedly in cahoots with Ben, as well as those in the upper echelons of the Presidential Communications Operations Office, who allowed the irregular contract, be also investigated.

If warranted, all of them should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Ben and Wanda may be charged with plunder, a nonbailable offense, for all I care.

The controversy has besmirched my reputation as well as those of my other siblings, Raffy and Erwin.

After Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque was quoted on national TV on Thursday night as saying that the President had instructed all the Tulfo brothers to return the P60 million, I immediately called him.

If memory serves me right, I told Roque, “Harry, it’s unfair to involve all of us who are innocent. Raffy and Erwin are hurting. Why don’t you just mention Ben? Why involve all of us?”

Dammit, I didn’t know anything about the darn contract, why should my name be dragged into the mess?

I built and nurtured the Tulfo name over the years as a hard-hitting, no-nonsense columnist and broadcast commentator. I have managed to keep my nose clean since 1970 when I entered the journalism profession.

And yet, in one moment, our name has been tarnished because of the recklessness of one or two siblings.

It’s like the four of us—myself, Ben, Raffy and Erwin—were in one lifeboat after our ship sank.

The lifeboat could only accommodate three passengers and one of us had to sacrifice to save the rest from the sharks circling the boat.

You know which of the four of us should be pushed out of the lifeboat.

For further information on the controversy, read my blog, My Big Mouth, at ramontulfo.org/journal, and also at my Facebook page, facebook.com/ramontulfoII.

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