Senate urges probe on P60M DOT ad placement controversy
Marje Pelayo • July 30, 2018 • 3015
Sen. Trillanes will file a plunder case against Tulfo siblings in relation to P60-M advertisement controversy.
PASAY CITY, Philippines – Senate President Vicente Sotto III wants an investigation on the ad placement controversy between the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the state-run People’s Television Network (PTV4), particularly in the program hosted by Ben and Erwin Tulfo.
The Tulfo brothers are siblings of former Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo who later resigned amid allegations of corruption.
Sotto said he wants to check on the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee about the status of the resolution filed seeking to probe the alleged irregularities in the said P60 million advertisement deal and because the Tulfo brothers remain firm in refusing to refund the payment.
“I’ll talk to them. I’ll talk to the Chairman, and find out what’s brewing in the committee. There must be other reasons. That’s why the committee in Congress step in,” the Senate President said.
The issue started when the Commission on Audit (COA) questioned the P60 million released by DOT as placement fee to PTV’s program “Kilos Pronto” due to lack of necessary documents. An issue on conflict of interest followed because the deal was done under the administration of Teo, a sister of Ben and Erwin.
Meanwhile, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV is brewing a complaint against the Tulfo brothers.
“Unang una, kaya nga ninakaw iyan dahil walang planong ibigay. So doon na lang iyan sa plunder case magkakaalaman,” Trillanes said.
Teo earlier defended her brothers saying they had no hand in the said placement deal. – Nel Maribojoc / Marje Pelayo
The country’s senators have started filing their pet bills on Monday (July 1) as they begin their regular office work in preparation for the official opening of the 18th Congress on July 22 for President Rodrigo Duterte’s State of the Nation Address (SONA).
Every senator will file their first 10 priority bills.
The first who filed his bills is Senate President Vicente Sotto III.
His proposals include the following:
Presidential Drug Enforcement Agency
Anti Drug Penal Institution
Medical Scholarship Act
Amendments to Human Security Act
Hybrid Elections Act
14th Month Pay Law
Anti Fake News Act
Increasing Penalty of Perjury
Sim Card Registration Act
Dangerous Drugs Court
Meanwhile, Senator Sonny Angara also filed his pet bills, as follows:
Upgrading Salary Grade Level of Teachers from 11 to 19
Under Privileged Students’ Discount Act
Increasing the Monthly Pension of Senior Citizens
Dialysis Center Act
Resolution on Dialysis Fraud
Senator Bong Revilla Jr also filed his priority bills for the 18th Congress, which include:
P125 Daily Across-the-Board increase in the Salary Rates of Employees in Private Sector
Lowering the Mandatory & Optional Retirement Age of Government employees
Senator Francis Pangilinan, meanwhile, filed the following:
Coco Levy Act
National Land Use Act of 2019
Proposed Department of Fisheries & Aquatic Resources
Proposed Department of Disaster & Emergency Management
Rainwater Management Bill
Single-Use Plastic Regulation & Management Act
Basic Education Teachers Pay Increase Act
Senators Risa Hontiveros and Ralph Recto, on the other hand, will once again file the bills entitled Sogie Equality Bill or the Anti-Discrimation Bill and the One Town, One Doctor Bill, respectively.
Meanwhile, Senator Joel Villanueva said he will propose measures regarding the welfare of Overseas Filipino Workers.
“Gustong gusto natin yung Bagong Bayani Filipino hospital for our OFW and then yung OFW insurance act,” said Villanueva.
Senator Lito Lapid, on the other hand, signified his desire to strengthen the free legal assistance and will propose a measure to resolve the water shortage, according to his son, Mark Lapid.
“Siyempre gusto niyang magsubmit ng paano natin (sosolusyunan) ang water crisis,” Lapid said.
Meanwhile, the offices of the newly elected senators are currently under renovation.
These include the offices of Senators Pia Cayetano, Bong Revilla, Ronald Bato dela Rosa who personally visited his office, Bong Go, and Lito Lapid.
The equipment and furniture of the outgoing senators are now pulled out of their former offices. (with reports from Nel Maribojoc) /mbmf
Senator Panfilo Lacson has drafted a resolution that aimed at assuring that Senate President Vicente Sotto III will keep his leadership in the Upper Chamber of Congress.
He said the idea came from Senator Manny Pacquiao.
“Actually, the idea was originally proposed by Sen Manny Pacquiao. The resolution to be routed is about a vote of confidence in the leadership of SP Sotto,” Lacson said.
He added that this move was prompted by the “insinuations made by Senators-elect Marcos and Tolentino for a leadership change for whatever motives they have — whether it’s posturing to get their desired committee chairmanships or serious attempts to elect a new Senate leader.”
Even Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri had also refused to further comment on the issue that floats the name of Senator Cynthia Villar in the Senate presidency.
“I won’t comment on the push for Senator Villar by the newly elected senators as I’m close to both Villar and Sotto. However, my last conversation with Tita Cynthia was that she was not interested. And, yes, I will sign the Manifesto for SP Sotto,” Zubiri said.
Villar had earlier on signified that she has no interest on the said position.
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