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Cesar Montano accused of mismanaging tourism board, approving P16.5M sponsorship of Feb 25 Luneta rally



Employees of the Tourism Promotions Board filed a complaint against its chief operating officer (COO) Cesar Montano for alleged corruption and mismanagement. The actor is accused of approving contracts with producers for events where he is slated to perform. He is also accused of hiring relatives and friends, going on trips using TPB’s funds, and incompetence in dealing with the responsibilities that come with his post.

The TPB employees have filed the complaint to the Presidential Action Center (PACE) on March 1, complete with details of Montano’s “acts and conducts” that showed his “unbecoming behavior as a government official.”

Among the complaints filed by the employees is Montano’s failure to follow Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo’s order to “divest from his films and private companies.” They said that the actor has failed to submit a Divestment Report, which would show his interests as an actor, film producer, and director, as of the filing of the complaint.

The complaint also named Montano’s team members and consultants, many of whom are relatives and friends and “whose functions are already being rendered by incumbent employees.” This is a violation of Administrative Code of 1987, which prohibits nepotism. Section 59, Book V of the Administrative Code of 1987 provided these parameters on nepotism: “All appointments in the national, provincial, city and municipal governments or in any branch or instrumentality thereof, including government-owned or controlled corporations, made in favor of a relative of the appointing or recommending authority, or of the chief of the bureau or office, or of the persons exercising immediate supervision over him, are hereby prohibited.”

They accused the actor of entering into multi-million contracts that have not undergone proper vetting by the TPB offices involved, citing the following concerts and events as example:

  • P11.2-million contract with Carat Philippines, an event where Montano sang with his nieces
  • P12-million sponsorship of Viva Communications’ event called “Jadine United States and United Arab Emirates Concert Tour 2017”
  • P16.5-million sponsorship of the February 25 rally in Rizal Park, where Montano also performed

The TPB employees noted how these multi-million concerts may just “bleed the coffers of the TPB dry.”


However, Carat Philippines issued a statement on March 13 denying the claim that they produced the February 25 Luneta concert.

The complaint also showed that Montano rarely reports to Teo, considering how TPB is under the Department of Tourism. It claims that he also makes domestic trips that are not part of TPB’s program, but would fund them using the board’s funds.

The TPB employees recalled how Montano would “shout at his staff” if he does not get what he wants immediately and how he “always locks his door” and play guitar even during office hours.

But what’s worse was when Montano left a board directors meeting that would have led to establishing a work program for TPB for 2017.

“Succeeding attempts were made by the TPB to call for a board meeting, to no avail. As a result, there is no approved work program as of this writing,” the complaint said.

Here is a copy of the TPB employees’ complaint obtained by Rappler:


Complaint against Tourism Promotions Board head Cesar Montano by Rappler Philippines on Scribd

Montano was appointed to lead TPB by President Rodrigo Duterte. During the campaign, he was one of the celebrities who actively supported the President.

President Duterte said on March 13 that he still trusts Montano despite the complaints against him.

“All they have to do is file a case. If you have a gripe and you think there is something wrong there, file a case, but I trust the guy. Kaya ko in-appoint ‘yan. Kung wala ako kumpyansa sa taong ‘yan, ‘di ko [i-a-appoint],” Duterte said.

He added that he believed Montano would not get involved in corruption because he has money. As for the actor’s ability to lead TPB, the President said: “That would be an opinion of mine. ‘Di na kailangan, may pera na ‘yung tao. Destroying yourself with a measly amount? I don’t think he would go for that.”

Montano calls complaints “baseless and untrue”

Montano, on his part, has called these accusations as “baseless and untrue.”  He pointed out how the complainants have not presented concrete evidence to support their accusations.

“No one knows who is behind this and the said ‘TPB employees’ who filed the complaint have neither come forward nor presented any evidence to substantiate claims. Without proof, anyone can easily fabricate stories with the sole purpose of destroying the credibility of the agency and this administration,” Montano said in a statement.

“It is our hope and prayer that politics do not keep us from our doing job in promoting a safer and drug-free Philippines to tourists,” he added.

“If we cannot work together, it is the Filipino people that ultimately suffer. Despite setbacks and political backlash, this office will continue to serve our countrymen and we thank everyone for their continued support,” Montano said.

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Netizens slam Duterte for saying women ‘could not stand threats and intimidation’



President Rodrigo Duterte drew flak for another controversial comment involving women after he remarked on May 24 that women “could not stand threats and intimidation.”

Duterte said that while he believed in women’s competence, it does not necessarily ring true in all aspects of life.

“I believe in the woman, the competence and capability, pero hindi lahat sa buhay dapat.Hindi ka, hindi, hindi. Dapat lang. It’s not appropriate when you cannot stand threats and intimidation,” he said in his May 24 speech.

He also said that women should be “prim and proper” and talked about his reservation in sending women police and soldiers to the field because unlike men, they did not grow up with a mindset that involves violence.

“Ang mga babae, sundalo pati pulis, ayaw ko ‘yan sa bukid. Unlike men kami, maliit pa lang, suntukan, bakbakan, barilan. And we grew up with a sort of a mindset na sometimes prone to violence. Itong mga babae, prim and proper man ‘yan, isang tingin lang sa nanay niyan, wala na tunaw na ‘yan. Tapos gawin mong pulis, ipaaway mo doon. Naku,” Duterte remarked.

Netizens then took to social media to react to Duterte’s most recent statements, making #BabaeAko trend again on Twitter.

“Mr. President, you just horrifyingly disrespected your own mother who bravely fought against the Marcos dictatorship. She withstood threats and intimidation. Siya ay babae! #BabaeAko,” a Twitter user remarked.

Forensic expert Dr. Raquel Fortun spoke out, too, saying “I am threatened and intimidated a lot. All my life. Don’t me. #BabaeAko.”

So did film and theater actress Chai Fonacier, who said, “Encouraging women — and I mean including those who identify as women — and our friends from the entire spectrum to share your #BabaeAko statements to fight the misogyny that the President and his ilk normalize through their behavior. Make them remember the feminine strength.”

KABATAAN Partylist Rep. Sarah Elago also reacted, saying she refused to be stereotyped.

Former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay urged other Filipinos to protest against Duterte’s misogynistic statements.

Other Twitter users weighed in on the issue.

Duterte’s previous misogynistic remarks


His remarks in his speech on May 24 seemed to have sought to explain another controversial remark he made on May 16 when he said that he did not want a politician, especially a woman, to become the next Ombudsman.

“Mag-nominate sila, pero I choose, but gusto ko ‘yung bilib ang tao sa integrity niya. Of course it could not be a politician, lalo na hindi babae,” he said during a chance interview.

This gave birth to the launching of the #BabaeAko movement on social media on May 21 by women activists and other people who also want to protest Duterte’s misogynistic and sexist statements.

One of  the women who joined the #BabaeAko campaign was former Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo who said, “Akala ko taumbayan ang boss ni Duterte. Yun pala sina Marcos, Gloria, Trump at China. Para sa bayang makatarungan at malaya, lalaban ako.”

In February, he was also slammed for telling his audience of former NPA rebels that he told his soldiers to shoot female rebels in the vagina.

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New DOT chief to ask Montano why he rushed official New York engagement to watch Broadway show



Newly installed Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said she plans on talking with Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) COO Cesar Montano to ask for his side on certain accusations that were hurled against him.

Among these accusations came from an Abante report where Montano was said to have rushed a speaking engagement staged by the DOT in New York to watch the Broadway musical show “Hamilton.”

DOT reportedly launched the Philippine Tourism Presentation and Dinner Reception on May 9 to showcase Philippine tourism and fashion at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York. Montano was introduced as the event’s keynote speaker, but he was said to have only spoken for a bit before hurriedly leaving the venue, disappointing the guests, which also included US officials.

Montano was said to have been invited to the event in behalf of the now-resigned Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo. He was also named as one of the two hosts, the other being Teo, of the said event.

In reaction to this report about Montano, Puyat said she would talk to Montano as well as the Tourism attache and other DOT officials who attended the event to verify the accusation in the report mentioned above.


Puyat said that she would investigate into the “Buhay Carinderia” program that the TPB is set to implement. This was after Philippine Star Boo Chanco accused Montano of issuing P80-million worth of three checks to the event proponent and organizer.

“I still don’t have the papers. I will be asking [and] will be arranging a meeting with Mr. Cesar Montano to ask about ‘yung mga nabasa ko sa ‘Buhay Carinderia’ – kung totoo ba na walang bidding ‘yung P80 million na advance,” Puyat said on May 15.

“I’m planning to talk to him and ask his side. I want to ask all those who were there if it actually happened,” Puyat added.

In March 2017, TPB employees filed a complaint against Montano for his alleged corruption and mismanagement of the agency. These include hiring friends and relatives, using TPB’s funds for personal trips, and showing incompetence in fulfilling his obligations as the agency’s COO.

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Eldest Tulfo vows to help Wanda clear her name, berates ‘black sheep’ Ben over controversial P60-M DOT ad deal



Inquirer columnist Ramon Tulfo spoke up about the controversy involving his siblings, now resigned Tourism Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo and hosts Ben and Erwin Tulfo, over the P60 million tourism ad deal.

The eldest Tulfo wrote in his Inquirer column on May 10 that while President Rodrigo Duterte himself advised the Tulfo family to avoid talking to the media, he took it upon himself as the family’s acting patriarch to tell the story behind the controversy.

First up, Ramon blamed Teo for not hiring smart staff members who could have advised her against inking a deal with PTV 4, where one of the Tulfo brothers, Ben, was a blocktimer.

As a blocktimer, Ben pays for his TV show’s airtime on the state-run channel.

According to Ramon, Wanda was only complying with President Duterte’s injunction for his Cabinet secretaries to support PTV 4, adding that she did not know Ben’s company would get most of the multimillion advertising contract with DOT.

He also hit Ben, whom he called a “black sheep” with a “middle child” syndrome as the fifth child out of 10 siblings, for signing the P60-million advertising contract with PTV 4 despite knowing that there would be a conflict of interest on Wanda’s part.

Ramon also said that Wanda still tried to save Ben, who insisted on his innocence amid the controversy, leading her to resign from her post. He also explained that Wanda seemed to have forgotten the fact that her husband was on the board of director of the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (Tieza), a part of DOT, when Duterte appointed her as tourism chief. He added that it should have been up to her husband to step down from his post upon his wife’s appointment.


In the same column, he also slammed Wanda’s lawyer, Ferdinand Topacio, whom he said did not even consult the Tulfo brothers on returning the P60-million funds from the ad deal. He also described the lawyer as “all talk,” a counsel who’s only focused on gaining publicity for himself.

Unlike what has been previously reported about Wanda resigning out of delicadeza amid the controversy, Ramon let it slip that he commended President Duterte for “sacking Wanda,” prompting some people to ask whether Wanda was fired instead of resigned.

Before he ended his column, he vowed to support “Wanda’s fight to clear her name, but not Ben’s.”
Wanda resigned on May 8 to show delicadeza and to spare everyone, especially Duterte, from the pain caused by the controversy, according to her lawyer.

The issue started with the Commission on Audit’s report showing the DOT paying P60 million worth of commercials to PTV 4, which in turn, tapped Ben’s Bitag Media Unlimited Inc. to air the tourism ads during Ben and Erwin’s show “Kilos Pronto.”

Malacañang said that Teo’s resignation does not mean that she is off the hook since the Ombudsman is still looking into her and other government officials involved in the controversial ad deal.

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