The Tulfo brothers violated no law PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 02 May 2018 13:31

KAKAMPI MO ANG BATAS

BY Atty. BATAS MAURICIO

LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “…  For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone…” (Romans 14:7, the Holy Bible).

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THE TULFO BROTHERS VIOLATED NO LAW: The $64 million question that needed to be answered regarding the criticisms that are being hurled against two Tulfo brothers---Ben and Erwin---in connection with the reported use of some P60 million from the Department of Tourism (DOT) as advertising fees for their programs at PTV 4, is quite simple: was there any law that was violated by anyone here?

Critics are complaining that the P60 million payments appear to be reeking with anomaly, simply because the DOT is headed right now by their sister, Tourism Secretary Wanda Tulfo Teo. Many are saying that a big favor accrued to the Tulfo family by the use of DOT funds for Ben’s and Erwin’s programs.

Now, if we are to talk about the law here---and it is the law we should be talking about on matters such as this---it would be clear that no rule or regulation was transgressed by the use of some P60 million in DOT funds for the programs of Ben and Erwin Tulfo. Why am I saying this? For the simple reason that the two did not directly transact with their sister, Wanda, or with the agency that she is heading today, the DOT.

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THERE WAS NO DIRECT CONTRACT BETWEEN DOT AND THE TULFOs: Under the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (or Republic Act 3019, as amended), what is considered therein as graft is the giving of favor by an officer or employee of the government in favor of his immediate relatives, through the discharge of his or her official duties and responsibilities.

What the law contemplates here is the direct contractual engagement between a  government official, like Secretary Teo, with the members of his or her own family, like Ben and Erwin. So the question should really be, did Teo directly contract with Ben and Erwin in connection with the P60 million advertising fees for their programs? The clear answer is, no.

DOT actually contracted with another party. And Ben and Erwin contracted with someone else. According to the pieces of evidence that Wanda released to the media on Monday, April 30, 2018, DOT entered into an agreement with PTV 4, not with her brothers or their company.

This seals the fact that no law was ever violated in this transaction.

On the other hand, Ben and Erwin contracted with PTV 4, not DOT.

Therefore, there is no contractual relationship at all between DOT and Teo, and Ben and Erwin.

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THE GOVERNMENT---DOT AND PTV 4---BENEFITED FROM THE P60 M TULFO CONTRACT: Of course, Tulfo critics will say that their contract should not have been entered into in the first place because, even assuming it did not violate any law, it would not be looked kindly upon by, and will not sit well with, our countrymen. Well, if the truth be told, there are many contracts in government that did not sit well with, nor were looked kindly upon by, many citizens, but yielded truly beneficial results just the same.

My view is that, the contract between DOT and PTV 4 was intended by the DOT to help PTV 4 increase its financial capabilities, so that it can have the necessary funds to continue its  operation as a government station. PTV 4 after all is not enjoying advertising support in the way private TV stations are raking it in. Perhaps, the contract stipulated that PTV 4 should devote the funds coming from DOT to its shows and programs that have been ranking high in ratings, to attract more viewers.

Indeed, PTV 4 knows that, today, the programs of Ben and Erwin Tulfo are enjoying popular viewer support, compared to its other shows and programs. That being the case, it is but wise and natural that DOTs funds should be channeled to Ben and Erwin’s programs. The end result of all these is that, DOT and PTV 4 would enjoy, as they in fact enjoyed, greater advantage for their own purposes.

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FOR QUESTIONS, REACTIONS: If anyone would like to ask me any question about what the burning issues of the  day mean, or what we have discussed here, or to consult on any problem, whatever it maybe, please call 0917 984 24 68, or email me at batasmauricio@yahoo.com, or post your concerns at www.facebook.com/attybatas.  Promise, I will answer right away. Thank God in the Name of Jesus, Amen!