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DOT slammed for posting surfing photo without giving proper credit to videographer



Amid issues surrounding the Philippine News Agency with its blunders on its website, the netizens’ attention also turned to the Department of Tourism for using a photo without giving credit to the videographer.

In a Facebook post on August 10, surfer Bidge Villaroya took to Facebook to react to DOT’s Facebook post promoting surfing in Catanduanes.

Based on the screenshot of DOT’s post that Villaroya captured, the promo said, “Searching for the right wave? The tides and winds have conspired to make the island province Catanduanes an emerging surfing destination thay [sic] will have you stoked!”

Along with the promotional post was a pixellated photo of a surfer in yellow shirt riding the waves.

Of this, Villaroya pointed out how the photo was a low-resolution screen capture of a scene in a video taken by videographer Gabs Batallones while surfer John Mark Tokong was surfing during the a 2015 surfing competition.

“Very happy that DOT national is promoting the happy island! But why use a low res screen cap and not credit Gabs Batallones the videographer,who was shooting for Bicol Surf Jam. Its very low res, but you can still identify John Mark Tokong going for a bottom turn to off the lip maneuver,” Villaroya wrote.

“Credit should also be given to the event in which this screen cap happened, Puraran Surfing Cup 2015,” he said.

Noting the agency’s millions of budget, Villaroya further said, “Considering the DOT has a multi million budget, they should have at least given credit to the work and effort behind the image, if they didnt want to spend money buying a photo/image.”

In the comments section, Villaroya pointed out the part of the Batallones’ video where the screencap used by DOT was obtained.

Villaroya also expressed his disdain for anyone using surfing as a “product to be labeled-packaged-sold” to the tourists.

“I have always abhored how some government agencies view surfing and the surf communities as a product to be labeled-packaged-sold to the tourist masses. Theres only one surfer i know who has deep roots with DOT. Pareng paolo manuel soler, patulong naman, medyo maliit na nga kinikita ng mga water photogs/videogs natin,pipiratahin pa ng DOT,” Villaroya said.

On August 11, Villaroya posted an update in the comments section after tracing how DOT got ahold of the low-resolution screencap.

“UPDATE: so Itravel, a subsidiary of DOT, copies the Bicol Surf Jam puraran youtube video, and then DOT FBpage screencaps the Itravel video, copy-paste of the copy-paste!” he wrote.

He also firmly said that DOT did not ask for the videographer’s permission, but they apologized to Batallones.

A report said that even iTravel Pinas, DOT’s newly launched travel program airing on PTV-4, used Batallones’ video without his permission.

advertisement reached to Rhoel Velayo Fernandez, head of the Office of Public Affairs, Communications, and Special Projects of DOT. He explained that it was him who decided to use the screengrab from the iTravel Pinas video without knowing that it was not the program’s original video.

“What I did not know was the said video was not taken by the iTravel team. I made apologies to Gabs and Bidge soon as I learned of the allegations. If we had known that said footage was shot by another party we would have asked permission ourselves,” Fernandez said.

He added that he has asked iTravel Pinas team to reach out to Batallones and the team sent this message to Fernandez:

“’Yong action-packed surfing in Puraran Beach na nilabas natin for Catanduanes episode are definitely not from the team. When iTP team went there to shoot for a surfing segment, the water was calm. Bago kami mag-shoot ng surfing 101, I asked Chris and Aireen Tanael, sila ‘yong interview ko re:surfing. Also, they are the famous surfers in Puraran. I asked them kung may maibibigay ba silang surfing footage/videos to support the claim na in Puraran, a beach surfer will experience a ‘Majestic Surfing because of its breathtaking long-barrel-type waves.’ Puwede ko raw gamitin ‘yong videos from YouTube na sa kanila naman daw. To make sure about the video, sinearch ko ‘yong vids at kinonfirm sa kanila ‘yong okay gamitin. ‘Yong video was a compilation of their surfing event,” the iTP team explained. noted that the DOT post about the controversial surfing photo and the video featuring a teaser for iTravel Pinas’ Catanduanes segment have been taken down.

On August 13, provided an update to the article regarding Batallones’ side, showing that he does not put the entire blame on DOT.

“If you ask me, it was not the whole DOT’s mistake,” he wrote.

“I don’t think the whole agency should catch fire for one man’s mistake. Being such a large agency, it’s very difficult to keep track of everyone’s actions. The one who contacted me from iTravel is a certain Mark Dela Rosa. According to him, he is the producer and the one at fault. He admitted this to me. I asked for proper compensation and an explanation. My material was already used online and in multiple platforms. There is no way to take this back,” Batallones said.

“All I got from him was a sorry. This action is so disrespectful to the [surf and photo/video] industries. It takes a lot of time, money and effort to produce this material. Honestly, this is not about the money anymore. It’s about ethics and respecting one’s work,” Batallones added.

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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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