This is a man who is so resolute to the point of alienating foreign governments and international organizations. When the President pronounces he is for a certain cause, there is no ambivalence. He sees it through even amid criticism.
One such cause is doing away with officials—even, or especially, those he himself appointed—with so much as a whiff of corruption.
Now an opportunity to show his resolve to minimize corruption in government presents itself.
The Commission on Audit found that the government network, PTV 4, did not have a memorandum of agreement with the Department of Tourism which made P60 million in advertisement placements to a blocktimer in the station. It is odd enough that the government network is hardly the best place in which to place a tourism commercial. But it turns out that the media outfit involved belongs to—surprise, surprise—Teo’s brothers.
The Tulfo brothers have long made a name for themselves for their tough-as-nails approach to wrongdoing. They are self-styled advocates of good governance not only in public service but also in the conduct of private businesses involving ordinary citizens.
Initially the secretary denied knowledge of the placements, a clear case of conflict of interest. Now the Tulfo camp is attacking the supposed “leak”—in an attempt to divert public attention from the real issue.
The attempt fails. What stands out is the hypocrisy.
It does not matter who leaked the information. If Teo did not know of the transaction, then she is clueless and incompetent. If she knew about it and did not stop it, or if she even pushed it in the first place, then she is most dishonest and brazenly ill-equipped to be an alter ego of the President.
Either way, she should go.
Great challenges already hound the Tourism Department even without this recent scandal. The President should remember his own words about getting rid of officials who do the administration a disservice by staying put.
It might be too much to expect Teo step down out of delicadeza. The secretary has shown by her very acts that the idea is foreign to her. Mr. Duterte should find himself a new Tourism Secretary lest the issue fester and erode the people’s trust in his word. / posted May 05, 2018 at 12:50 am by Manila Standard
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