Bayani Fernando admits receiving P1.6M in "gifts" from Metro Manila Film Festival

Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Bayani Fernando yesterday acknowledged in a Senate hearing that he received P1.6 million over a period of four years from the executive committee of the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF), reports

Fernando said the P1.6 million was given in amounts ranging from P100,000 to P500,000 from 2003 to 2006 and that the cash was a "gift" given "in recognition for a job well done [by] all those who have contributed to the success of the project." He further stated that the practice has been a "tradition" of the MMFF, which is under the management of the MMDA, for decades.

Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago said Fernando's admission is a public confession of liability under the code of conduct for public officials, which prohibits officials from accepting gifts of monetary value.

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