March 15, 2017
Nancy seeks Senate probe on complaints against Cesar Montano
Senator Nancy Binay on Wednesday called for an investigation into the complaints filed by employees of the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) against their chief operating officer, Cesar Montano, for engaging in supposed irregular contracts, mismanagement, and nepotism.
"It is imperative that we look into the complaints against Mr. Montano. He is leading an agency tasked with domestic and international promotions of the Department of Tourism. As such, he must act with the protection of the image of the TPB and the government in mind at all times," said Binay, chairperson of the Senate committee on tourism.
"I also urge Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo to look into this matter. We cannot allow our efforts to promote the country as a top tourist destination to be ruined by controversies, especially one involving an official of our tourism agency," she added.
Binay has filed Senate Resolution No. 326 which urged the Senate Committee on Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations (Blue Ribbon) to look into the complaint lodged by TPB employees against Montano at the Presidential Action Center just three months after his appointment. SRN 236 was also referred to the tourism committee yesterday.
The complaint lists 24 supposed irregularities committed by Montano including unprofessional behavior, incompetence and possible corruption. The complainants questioned in particular an P11.2 million contract entered into by Montano for an event where he and his nieces were guest performers.
Montano was also criticized for hiring his own team and consultants into the agency despite the presence of incumbent employees with the same tasks. The complaint also states that the TPB chief operating officer charged the agency for trips that were not part of his job.
Montano was also accused of nepotism, having appointed his relative Priza Cinco, his brother Rommel Montano, and a member of his household Peter Domingo. Nepotism is punishable by dismissal from service.
"This investigation will enable us to review our laws and ensure that issues of malfeasance, misfeasance and charges of graft and corruption in the government are immediately addressed," Binay stressed.
"Napakalaki ng potensyal ng bansa natin upang mas makilala pa bilang isang top tourist destination, kaya dapat maresolba agad ang isyung ito na maaaring makasira sa imahe ng ating bansa. Dapat mapag-usapan at malaman na ang katotohanan sa isyung ito sa lalong madaling panahon upang makapag-focus na tayo sa mas importanteng suliranin: ang pagpromote sa mga magagandang tanawin ng Pilipinas," the senator added.
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