Duterte Orders Filing a Case Against Montano

President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday ordered the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) employees who sent complaints to Malacañang against Cesar Montano, to file a case against the newly-appointed actor.

Although Duterte trusted every one of his appointees, he said he will not tolerate any wrongdoings.

Those who have a problem about the actions of Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) chief Cesar Montano should file a case against him, President Duterte said on Monday.

“All they have to do is to file a case. if you have a gripe, and if you think there’s something wrong there, file a case,” Mr. Duterte said in a press briefing.

An online news site said a radio report had quoted Montano claiming that the complaint was meant to “preempt him from divulging anomalies within the TPB that allegedly took place before he assumed leadership of the board last December.”

In a text message, a TPB employee countered: “Mr. Montano should start gathering evidence for those alleged anomalies. He’s trying to turn the tables.”

Carat Philippines, which allegedly had entered into contracts with Montano worth P11 million for a concert and P16.5 million for a rally on Feb. 25 at Manila’s Rizal Park in support of Mr. Duterte, has issued a statement denying its participation as producer of the rally.

On the other hand, a source told the Inquirer that “Carat had not been fully paid for the rally.”

A TPB employee, who had direct knowledge of the contract, added the source, “was trying to get out of the Luneta rally project, ‘halos umiyak’ (on the verge of tears) because it was not the TPB’s mandate. But Cesar was insistent.”

The TPB employee also claimed that Carat was “also involved in a K-pop concert that the TPB produced, but this was not included in the complaint.”

Among 24 irregularities enumerated in the complaint, No. 18 stated that “TPB received a number of proposals for concerts and entertainment. These proposals were approved by Montano, without considering the recommendation of the proper department under its purview. These concerts/entertainment were in the millions of pesos. And these might just bleed the coffers of the TPB dry.”

The complaint specified that the TPB released P16.5 million in cash for the Feb. 25 rally in support of Mr. Duterte at Manila’s Rizal Park, with Carat Philippines as producer and Montano as one of the performers.

The TPB, the complaint noted, also provided sponsorship money to the “Jadine US & UAE Concert Tour 2017 in the amount of P12 million, in spite of the marketing communications department’s negative recommendation.”

The complaint likewise alleged that Montano “brought in a team and consultants whose functions were already being rendered by incumbent employees.”

The team consisted of 17 people including bit actors (stunt men), a gardener, a messenger and a nephew of the wife of Rommel Montano.

Rommel, a brother of Montano, was hired as a coterminous and confidential assistant. But the complaint said Rommel also “initiated a project with the TPB initially free of charge, but in the end was pegged in the millions of pesos.”

The complaint took note as well of Montano’s “domestic trips not part of TPB’s work program but charged to TPB funds,” and conduct unbecoming as the TPB chief operating officer (COO).

“The last straw was during the TPB board of directors meeting on Feb. 27, in which the TPB was hoping to secure the approval of the work program for the 2nd-4th quarters of 2017. COO Montano left the meeting for a speaking engagement… As a result, there was no approved work program of TPB…”

Montano, popularly known as a TV and movie actor, was appointed by Mr. Duterte to the TPB only last December. /Source – Inquirer/

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