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DOJ awaits formal order on probe into P60-M DOT-PTV4 ad deal

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, June 6th, 2019

The Department of Justice is waiting for an official directive from Malacañang concerning the controversial P60-million deal between the Department of Tourism (DOT) and government-run TV station, PTV 4 in 2017.

In a text message, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra confirmed that the Office of the Ombudsman is already investigating the matter. He added that the DOJ is “ready to help” in the probe.

“I’m verifying directly with Sec. Panelo, just waiting for his reply,” Guevarra’s message reads.

It will be recalled that Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo announced yesterday that the DOJ will take steps to recover the P60-million in ad placement fees that the DOT paid to broadcaster Ben Tulfo’s Bitag Media two years ago. Bitag is a blocktimer at PTV-4 and is owned by Ben Tulfo.

The deal was awarded to Bitag’s show, Kilos Pronto, which is hosted by the Tulfo brothers.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat wants to return the P60-M to the Commission on Audit.

This controversy resulted in the resignation of then DOT Secretary Wanda Teo who is the sister of the Tulfo brothers.

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Ex-Customs officer Jimmy Guban placed under witness protection program

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Friday, November 2nd, 2018

Former Customs intelligence officer Jimmy Guban

MANILA, Philippines – The Senate leadership on Friday (November 2) has turned over former Customs intelligence officer Jimmy Guban to the custody of the Department of Justice (DOJ).

He was escorted by DOJ personnel during his transfer after he was placed under the state’s witness protection program.

According to Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, Guban will stay in a safe house for security until after he testifies in court.

Guban made headlines for his involvement in the P6.8B shabu smuggling shipment in the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

He was detained at the Senate after he was cited in contempt for not disclosing the truth about the shabu smuggling shipment during the committee hearing. – UNTV News and Rescue

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CA confirms Menardo Guevarra’s appointment as Justice chief

by admin   |   Posted on Wednesday, May 30th, 2018

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra

 

MANILA, Philippines – After the suspension of the confirmation hearing of Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Tuesday, the Commission on Appointments (CA) has finally confirmed the DOJ chief’s appointment.

Coinciding this is the confirmation of Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat and Agrarian Reform Secretary John Castriciones and other government officials.

As Guevarra sat before the powerful CA panel, he was asked about his statement saying there’s no conflict of interest on security deals between the DOJ and Vigilant Investigative and Security Agency Incorporated owned by the family of Solicitor General Jose Calida.

The company reportedly has P150-million worth of investments which was recently questioned before the office of the ombudsman due to conflict of interest and violation of RA 6713 or Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.

“That’s for him [Calida] to explain eh. From the point of view of the DOJ, ang conflict of interest ay kung halimbawa, ‘yun bang bidder has any relation with anyone sa DOJ, like ‘yung sa BAC o Bids and Awards Committee ng DOJ,” said Guevarra.

(That’s for him [Calida] to explain eh. From the point of view of the DOJ, conflict of interest is when the bidder has any relation with anyone in the DOJ, like in the Bids and Awards Committee of the DOJ.)

But during the plenary session, the secretary was confirmed along with Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat , Agrarian Reform Secretary John Castriciones, AFP Chief of Staff Carlito Galvez and several government appointees. -UNTV News & Rescue

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DoT P60-M ad placement ‘highly irregular’ — Sen. Pangilinan

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Wednesday, May 2nd, 2018

 

Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan has urged the Office of the Ombudsman to look into the controversial P60-million ad placement of the Department of Tourism (DOT.)

“Yes, the P60 million DOT ad buy is on its face highly irregular and the Ombudsman should look into it,” Pangilinan said in a statement Tuesday, May 1.

The Commission on Audit (COA) on its website, published on Friday, April 27, an audit report on the government-run People’s Television Network Inc. (PTNI) where the COA said “there was no memorandum of agreement (MOA) or contract between PTNI and Ben Tulfo’s Bitag Media Unlimited Incorporated (BMUI) to air DoT’s commercial ad in Tulfo’s show.

Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo in defense of the transaction said it was aboveboard and that “the contract between the two entities went through the proper bidding process.”

“The explanation that the DoT dealt with PTV-4 is unacceptable,” Pangilinan concluded. – UNTV News & Rescue

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