Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra clarified on Wednesday (June 5) that it is not the job of the Department of Justice (DOJ) to recover the P60 million paid to broadcaster Ben Tulfo for the Department of Toursim (DOT) advertisements.
Guevarra made the clarification after Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said that the DOJ will be tasked to recover the money that was paid when Tulfo’s sister, former Tourism Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo, was still with DOT.
“The allegedly anomalous transaction involving high-level govt officials falls under the primary investigative jurisdiction of the Office of the Ombudsman (OMB),” Guevarra pointed out.
“Should a graft case prosper and reach the Sandiganbayan, the recovery of the P60 million paid to Ben Tulfo’s company will be automatically part of that action,” he explained.
The Ombudsman is already investigating the DOT’s deal with Tulfo’s Bitag Media Unlimited Inc. based on the Commission on Audit (COA) report which stated that Teo could be held liable for graft.
In the meantime, Guevarra has assured that “if the DOJ will be asked to help in the investigation, we are ready to act on our own and/or coordinate with the OMB.”