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Anticorruption crusader in a fix

/ 05:14 AM May 11, 2018

Lawyer Ferdinand Topacio is the general counsel of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption. This is an advocacy he has undertaken with much publicity as seen in the slew of high-profile graft cases that he has initiated against perceived “yellows” in tandem with VACC’s Dante Jimenez, who is the chair of the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission.

The Commission on Audit questioned the P60 million paid by the Department of Tourism (DOT) to state-run People’s Television Network, Inc. for ad placements in the show of Ben and Erwin Tulfo, brothers of now former tourism secretary Wanda Tulfo Teo. A scandal ensued.

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I cannot help but be amazed seeing anticorruption crusader Topacio take up the cudgels for the beleaguered Wanda. He made the rounds of television talk shows pontificating that the transaction involving the DOT, PTV and the Tulfo brothers was legal and above board.

Afterwards, Topacio announced that the Tulfos will return the P60 million, a matter which in law (Sec. 27, Rule 130 Rules of Court) is an admission of guilt.  Thereafter, Wanda had no other recourse but to resign.

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But Topacio claimed that her resignation is not an admission of guilt. Completely oblivious of the dire implication of the offer to compromise by returning the money, Topacio said: “Returning the P60 million is not about money, it is about clearing the family name.”

No, Topacio. Returning the money does not clear your client’s family name. On the contrary it gives the unmistakable stink and stain of corruption.

This dumb and fatal admission of guilt by the Tulfos courtesy of Topacio is only matched in dumbness  by two immigration commissioners who returned P49,999,000.00 in a poorly scripted ploy to avoid

an indictment for plunder, which has a P50-million jurisdictional threshold.

CARNELL S. VALDEZ, [email protected]

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TAGS: corruption, Ferdinand Topacio, Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption
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