TPB management: We'll cooperate in probe vs Cesar Montano

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The management committee of the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) vowed to cooperate in the probe into the mismanagement complaint made by "concerned employees" against their chief operating officer, Cesar Montano.

In a statement on Tuesday, March 14, the TPB management committee said it "welcomes the immediate investigation on the matter and commits its full cooperation, guaranteeing the transparency of the agency in the entire process."

The complaint against Montano was filed last March 1 before the Presidential Action Center (PACE). (READ: Cesar Montano faces complaint for 'mismanaging' tourism board)

"The TPB has always been answerable to several governing bodies such as the Governance Commission for GOCCs, the Civil Service Commission, the Department of Budget and Management, and the Commission on Audit, which warrants the agency's transaction to be true, correct, and official in nature," said the TPB management.

"We encourage the public to focus on the concerns raised in the report, without the need to associate the issues with the current administration," they added.

According to a document obtained by Rappler, Montano allegedly entered into contracts with producers to hold concerts and events where he was one of the performers.

He is also accused of "unbecoming behavior" – hiring friends and relatives, using public funds for personal travels, and incompetence.

Montano rejected the allegations made against him as "baseless and untrue."

"No one knows who is behind this and the said 'TPB employees' who filed the complaint have neither come forward or presented any evidence to substantiate claims," he said.

"Without proof, anyone can easily fabricate stories with the sole purpose of destroying the credibility of the agency and this administration," he added.

Senator Nancy Binay has also called for a probe into the allegations against Montano, filing Senate Resolution Number 326 on Tuesday.

President Rodrigo Duterte appointed Montano as head of the TPB, an attached agency of the Department of Tourism, in December 2016.

Despite the allegations, Duterte said on Monday, March 13, that he continues to trust Montano.

"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] (That's why I appointed him. If I had no confidence in that person, I would not have appointed him)," the President said in a press conference in Malacañang.

Montano is one of the showbiz personalities who actively supported Duterte's presidential bid. – Rappler.com

Aika Rey

Aika Rey covers the Philippine Senate for Rappler. Before writing about politicians, she covered budget, labor, and transportation issues.

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