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Walang takas! Ben Tulfo doesn’t need to return P60M in PTV ad deal but…

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Broadcaster Ben Tulfo was right in saying he doesn’t have to return the P60 million he received from People’s Television Network Inc. (PTNI) for airing the Department of Tourism’s ads last year on his program, “Kilos Pronto.”

That’s because Tulfo wasn’t a recipient of the notice of disallowance issued by the Commission on Audit in connection with the controversial deal, which happened when his sister, Wanda Teo, was Tourism Secretary.

A source explained to Politiko that notices of disallowance are only issued to government officials and employees over disallowed disbursements.

A notice of disallowance means the government official or employee has to return the money whose release wasn’t approved by COA.

The absence of Tulfo’s name in the list of recipients of the COA’s notices of disallowance, however, doesn’t mean he’s off the hook over the questionable agreement.

Politiko’s source said Tulfo will be named as a respondent in the criminal cases to be filed before the Office of the Ombudsman soon.

In April, COA flagged PTNI for paying Tulfo’s company, Bitag Media Unlimited Inc., P60 million for airing the Department of Tourism’s ads despite the absence of proper documents.

A more recent report flagged Teo for possible conflict of interest since the ads were selected to air on her brother’s show.

Teo received a notice of disallowance from COA last June. She has six months from the time of receipt to return the money or the matter will be elevated to the Office of the Ombudsman.