Tulfo brother invites Santiago couple to a 'chat'

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Monday, May 7, 2012

MANILA (Updated) -- A younger brother of newspaper columnist Ramon Tulfo has invited showbiz couple Raymart Santiago and Claudine Barretto to a "chat," a day after the trio figured in a confrontation at an airport.

On his radio program over 92.3 NewsFM, Erwin Tulfo said they could settle things over "coffee" but should meet somewhere where there are few people.

He said Santiago could bring with him his wife and the eight men who have mauled his brother. He stressed, however, that he was not challenging Santiago's group to a fight.

"Ready naman ako anytime. Sabihin mo lang saan mo gustong magkape tayo. Wala namang problema sa akin yun (I'm always ready. Just tell me where you want to have coffee. I have no problem with that.)," Erwin Tulfo, who is the younger brother of the veteran newspaper columnist, said.

The older Tulfo on Monday filed physical injuries and grave coercion cases against the celebrity couple and their companions, a day after both parties figured in scuffle at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

Malacañang also stepped in and assured the public that airport officials are conducting investigation on the incident involving Tulfo and Santiago's group.

Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) general manager Jose Angel Honrado is not only looking into the scuffle but also on the alleged incompetent service of Cebu Pacific Air.

(Courtesy of spamsafe)

Barretto allegedly berated airline staff Sunday afternoon over her lost luggage, which allegedly contained some medicines for her kids, after her group arrived from Boracay island.

In his complaint filed before the Pasay City Prosecutor's Office, Tulfo claimed he was mauled by the couple and their companion. Photos of him went viral online showing injuries he sustained from the confrontation.

He said Santiago tried to grab his phone, which contained a photograph of Barretto berating the ground crew of Cebu Pacific Air.

Tulfo said he took the photograph after he heard the actress uttered harsh words to the airline staff and threatened to have them fired.

The media personality earlier said he had no plan on filing charges against the showbiz couple but decided otherwise after the couple said they will sue him.

A video footage of the scuffle, which was uploaded on video-sharing site YouTube, showed Tulfo and Santiago and several others exchanging blows.

At one point, Tulfo and a man in pink shirt were shown kicking and punching each other while they were both laid on the floor. Santiago was also seen choking Tulfo while a companion throw punches at the newspaper columnist.

The 59-second video, which went viral few minutes after the airport incident, has been viewed more than 280,000 times as of Monday noon. Same video has gone viral on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.

The two airline personnel who have earned Barretto's ire over her lost luggage said Tulfo did not start the fight.

In an interview over Bombo Radyo, Cebu Pacific ground staff Cid Charisse Bocboc and Kristina Anne Ilagan said Barretto cursed them in front of other passengers at the NAIA Terminal 3.

Efforts to explain the circumstances behind Barretto's lost luggage went futile as the actress wouldn't listen and continued cursing them.

Bocboc and Ilagan said Tulfo tried to record the whole incident using his cellphone but Barretto started shouting at the journalist. At this point, Santiago and his companions allegedly ganged up on Tulfo and a scuffle ensued.

But the whole incident has not been capture in any of the surveillance cameras installed at the airport premises as no camera was placed in the area where the scuffle took place, MIAA chief Honrado told dzMM.

Meanwhile, two former journalists who are now members of the House of Representatives condemned the Santiago couple for confronting Tulfo, an influential media personality.

Eastern Samar Representative Ben Evardone and Agham party-list Representative Angelo Palmones, both former journalists, said being public personalities, Santiago should have kept his cool even if he was supposedly provoked by Tulfo.
Palmones plans to file a resolution condemning the act against a journalist.
"It is unfair to Mon (Tulfo) to be assaulted. We know that because of the new medium, everybody is an online journalist. That's why they should have just been conscious on what they were doing," Palmones said in a press briefing.
Evardone, for his part, said that as a journalist, Tulfo has all the right to take pictures of a commotion at the airport.
"I think the assault on Mon Tulfo was a direct assault on media. It's the inherent right of media and a basic instinct to gather and documents facts and events," he said, adding Santiago's group has no right to prevent Tulfo from taking photos, much more to ask him to delete the photos.
Palmones added that Claudine should have just written the airline and demanded damages for the inconvenience they encountered.
The Santiago couple said they complained to an attendant of the Cebu Pacific after arriving from their Boracay flight after some of their luggage went missing. The luggage apparently had children's medicines.
"They should have not berated at the ground staff. That is not the proper venue to ventilate their complaint. They should have written the airline or demanded damages and not the put the law on their own hands. What is the use of protocols?" the lawmaker said. (Glaiza Jarloc/Jill Beltran/Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)

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