Senate Blue Ribbon Committee Already In The Process Of Investigating DOT Ad Controversy – Gordon
Senator Richard J. Gordon said the Committee on Accountability of Public Officers & Investigations or Blue Ribbon has already started the ball rolling on the conduct of an investigation into the Department of Tourism (DOT) ad controversy.
Gordon, committee chairman, disclosed that as early as May 2018, the Blue Ribbon already sent a letter requesting for copies of documents related to Senate resolutions calling for an inquiry, in aid of legislation, into the advertisement placements made by the DOT with television networks and media agencies.
"Hindi kami basta nag-iimbestiga. Siyempre kinukuha namin ang facts of the case. We are already in the process of investigating. Upon my instructions to the director, we wrote a letter requesting for documents,” he said.
In a letter date May 31, 2018, the Blue Ribbon wrote to Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat requesting for copies of all documents related to Senate Resolution Nos. 721, 726 and 740 which called for an inquiry into the said controversy.
“As instructed by the Chairman, may we request copies of all documents related to said Proposed Senate Resolutions. Please submit said documents to the Blue Ribbon Committee Office…on or before Tuesday, June 5, 2018,” Blue Ribbon Director General Rodolfo Noel Quimbo said in the letter.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III said the decision to investigate the advertisement contract is up to the Blue Ribbon Committee chairman. The senate president added that Gordon would decide on whether hearings would be held in connection with the advertisement deal between the DOT, state-run PTV network, and Ben Tulfo's Bitag Media Unlimited Inc.
The Commission on Audit earlier reported that PTV’s 2017 disbursement records for three checks issued to Bitag were anomalous, casting doubts on the legality and validity of the payments made by the DOT.