THE end was the recall of the security detail of the Tulfo brothers. The beginning was about the recently-signed Magna Carta of the Poor.
Broadcaster Erwin Tulfo wanted to ask Social Welfare Secretary Rolando Bautista on his program on DZRB Radyo Pilipinas about the implications of Republic Act 11291 or the Magna Carta of the Poor that was recently signed by President Rodrigo Duterte. Bautista was not available to take Tulfo’s call and reportedly said the broadcaster has to make an interview request.
Tulfo became furious and on air said, “Tinatawagan ka namin para marinig ng mga kababayan nating mahihirap ang stand ng mga mahihirap. Hindi yung sasabihan mo kami na sumulat muna five days before. Eh sino ka bang p**** ka na kailangan ko pang sumulat-sulat sa’yo? Sagutin mo ‘yang telepono mo dahil ikaw ay DSWD!” (I’m calling to ask you to explain (the law) to poor Filipinos. Don’t tell me to write to you five days before the interview. Who are you to tell me to write a request first? Answer the phone because you are DSWD!)
He continued his tirade and said, “Sampalin kita ‘pag nakita kitang b..ng ka. Wala akong pakialam ke retired general ka, mudmurin ko yung mukha mo sa inidoro. Dagdag ka sa problema.” (I will slap you when I see you. I don’t care if you are a retired general. I will rub your face in the toilet bowl. You add to the problem.)
His insults ended with Bautista’s military colleagues taking exception to Tulfo’s rants, and the Philippine Military Academy Alumni Association promising to file libel and defamation cases against him.
Last Sunday, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said the police detail of the Tulfo brothers have been pulled out and sent back to their mother units. Those who lost their security detail were broadcast personalities Erwin, Raffy, and Ben, and ACT-CIS Party-list Representative Jocelyn Tulfo. The military also recalled the two Marines assigned to special envoy to China, Ramon Tulfo.
The police said the recall was part of a regular assessment of members assigned to security detail and the military said the pullout of the marines was because of a lack of personnel in the Marine Corps.
Covered in all the controversy was the intention to seek more information about the new law, the Magna Carta of the Poor.
I don’t subscribe to the way Tulfo demanded information or his rant against Bautista. Journalists are not trained to be rude and foul-mouthed to get an interview. Broadcast regulators should take action against Tulfo.
But the matter of the Magna Carta has to be explained to the public so the poor can be assured of the benefits due them under the new law. Will the Magna Carta mean more cash assistance, rice, and canned goods? How different is this new law from other regulations?
These have to be answered without the foul language and the prodding of a Tulfo.