MANILASenators on Tuesday commended Tourism Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo for resigning from her post amid the controversial PHP60-million advertisement deal between the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the state-run People's Television Network Inc. (PTNI).
We thank Secretary Wanda Corazon Tulfo-Teo for her service at the Department of Tourism. It is unfortunate that her name was dragged into a controversy. I, however, commend her decision to resign and to spare the President from undue pressure, Senator Nancy Binay said in a statement.
She said that President Rodrigo R. Duterte has too many things on his plate to be dragged into this issue, citing the diplomatic rift between the Philippines and Kuwait among others.
With Teo's resignation, Binay called on the President to immediately appoint a replacement so as not to put the DOT's programs and projects to a standstill, especially in (the) light (of) the rehabilitation of Boracay Island.
Senator Paolo Benigno Aquino IV also commended Teo's decision.
We commend Secretary Teo for resigning...," Aquino said during a press briefing at the Senate.
However, the opposition lawmaker maintained that there is an irregularity in the PHP60-million ad placement deal when it was awarded to the program of Teo's brothers at PTV 4.
At the minimum, delicadeza, Aquino said.
If we are serious in fighting corruption, if we are serious that there are no irregularities in government transactions, it's good that she resigned, he added.
In the meantime, Aquino backed proposals for a Senate probe into the controversial deal despite Teo's resignation if only to prevent similar cases from happening again.
The probe was initiated by Binay through a resolution that seeks to look into how the DOT spends its advertising and marketing budget.
We are hoping that the hearing will push through here in the Senate. We want to ensure that such transactions would not be repeated in our government, he said. We are hoping that during the hearing, we can flesh out the details on how this thing happened and to make sure that this would not happen again in our government.
Senators Panfilo Lacson and Francis Pangilinan also backed the planned probe.
Yes, it should, if only to strengthen the laws that have something to do with propriety in public service, not to mention anti-graft laws, Lacson said in a text message to Senate reporters.
Meanwhile, Pangilinan said the inquiry should proceed as a means of determining accountability and in order to send the signal that corruption and abuse will not be tolerated. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency