Appalling decision by the Ombudsman | Inquirer Opinion

Appalling decision by the Ombudsman

/ 05:01 AM October 29, 2021

We are appalled at how a retired justice of the Supreme Court (SC) could come up with an opinion so stupid it gives the dumbest law student hope of yet graduating class valedictorian! Appointed by President Duterte to the Office of the Ombudsman soon after his retirement from the SC, Samuel Martires dismissed the corruption charges against former tourism secretary Wanda Tulfo Teo, her brother Ben Tulfo, and other officials of the government-owned People’s Television Network (PTV-4) involving millions of tourism funds for advertising purposes.

Per the editorial titled “Justice delayed, justice denied” (10/19/21), Teo’s defense was she had no idea that she was giving away P60 million of taxpayer money to her brother, Ben Tulfo, who produced the TV ads for the tourism department. Martires mindlessly agreed: “(N)owhere was it directly shown that Secretary Teo was aware that Kilos Pronto is owned by Ben Tulfo, her sibling.” “Kilos Pronto,” the TV program that aired the tourism ads, is produced by Bitag Media, which is owned by Ben Tulfo. The whole enchilada involved P120 million for advertising purposes on PTV-4. Oops, Teo later said the ad deal her department approved would enrich her own brother. As tall tales go, this one must take the cake.

And as unbelievably stupid as that defense sounded even to laymen, Martires took it hook, line, and sinker. Perhaps Sen. Richard Gordon was right when he intimated that President Duterte has packed the Office of the Ombudsman with people he can absolutely rely on to watch his back and his friends.

Chin Chin Katigbak, [email protected]

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TAGS: Bitag Media, corruption, DoT, ombudsman, P60 million, Samuel Martires, tourism ad, Tulfo, Wanda Teo

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