Wanda Teo: I am not afraid of plunder case

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 15) — Plunder charges for the alleged questionable multimillion peso advertisement deal between the Tourism Department and PTV-4 won't prosper, former Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo maintained Wednesday.

"I don't think lulusot sa plunder. Hindi naman ako nag-amass ng wealth," Teo told CNN Philippines' The Source. "The money went to PTV... Hindi ako natatakot [sa] plunder."

[Translation: I don't think (charges for) plunder will work. I didn't amass wealth. The money went to PTV... I'm not afraid of (a) plunder (case).]

Senator Antonio Trillanes IV said he planned to file plunder charges against the former tourism chief and her brother, Ben, over the alleged anomalous transaction.

"Sabi ko sa kanya (I told him). 'Go ahead. That is your perception, your percention, your honor," Teo said of Trillanes.

The Commission on Audit said DOT, under Teo's leadership, inked a ₱120 million contract to place its ads on state-run television PTV-4. Up to 75 percent of the total deal was supposed to go to the PTV's block timer, Kilos Pronto, which is produced by Ben Tulfo's company, Bitag Media.

PTV said DOT was not able to pay in full because of the controversy. It said DOT paid ₱95 million in four tranches, missing the fifth and final payment. Of the amount, PTV paid Bitag Media ₱71.6 million. The remaining ₱19.8 million is PTV's revenue.

The COA earlier said ₱60 million was paid to Bitag Media in three tranches.

Senate Blue Ribbon Committee Chair Richard Gordon believes the siblings are only liable for graft. The Commission on Audit made a similar report.

Teo maintained that she was not aware her brother hosted the show, which led to questions on why she was not informed or why the Tulfos accepted the deal despite knowing their sister's position.

"If I knew that it was my brother, I would not sign that," said Teo. "I would lose my career. And then there will be people na pumasok kasama ko sa [Department of Tourism], na mawawalan ng trabaho, which happened."

[Translation: I would lose my career. There (were) people who came into the DOT with me who would lose jobs, which happened.]

Charges vs. senators?

Teo's legal counsel Nelson Borja also said he was mulling over filing administrative charges against some senators, although Teo said she was willing to let the issue go.

"Actually kanina naisip ko nga iyan, na we could file charges doon sa administrative aspect doon sa Senado," Borja said. "Alam mo yung mga resource persons doon, they deserve some respect. Pero ang nangyari kahapon, alam na natin. Binabastos. Hindi maganda."

[Translation: Actually I thought that we could file charges in the administrative aspect there in the Senate. You know, the resource persons there deserve respect. But we know what happened yesterday. They were rude. It wasn't nice.]

When asked if he was talking about Senate Blue Ribbon Chair Richard Gordon, Borja responded in the negative.

When asked if he was talking about Trillanes, he answered, "Well, siguro [maybe]. Tingnan natin [Let's see]."

Teo then said that she preferred not to pursue a case, after which Borja conceded.

"Ako kasi, huwag nalang. Leave it nalang. Move forward... Tapos na iyan eh," she said.

[Translation: For me, let's not do it. Let's just leave it. Move forward... It's done.]

Watch the full interview with Teo and Borja here.

 

CNN Philippines' Senior Digital Producer Lara Tan contributed to this report.