BIR chief Caesar Dulay has just had it.
The usually low-key public official has stepped into the limelight to teach columnist Ramon Tulfo a valuable lesson once and for all.
Saying he has had it with the attacks, the BIR chief filed libel and cyberlibel charges against the self-proclaimed hard-hitting journalist and Manila Times officials over three of his columns published in the news outfit, a development that was, due to its public nature if you will, was naturally covered by the media.
The Tulfo column "My Line of Sight: Conversations between two BIR execs reveals all" accused Dulay of having "skeletons in the closet at the graft-ridden agency," while his second column dated August 8, which alleged that there was a giving of bribe in multibillion peso tax cases with delinquent corporations, pictured Dulay as an “insatiable greedy extortionist, a cheat and a corrupt official in (president) Digong’s government," Dulay said.
The third, dated August 20, called for a corruption probe against Dulay over what Tulfo said was the Del Monte’s “compromised” payment of P65 million instead of the "huge delinquent tax amounting to P8.7 billion."
According to Dulay, the columns were “undoubtedly false and defamatory” and “not only directly pictured me as a corrupt official, an animal, a thief, minion of Satan, greedy bastard," but also "maliciously portrayed me as a 'criminal'."
Dulay is seeking P20 million in damages, and a precautionary hold departure order against Tulfo.
The charges are clearly not a first for Tulfo, who has packaged himself as a hard-hitting journalist who is always on the side of the poor.
Indeed, that fact says a lot about Tulfo's brand of journalism, if it can be called such.
While it is an acknowledged fact that public officials should not be onion-skinned when at the receiving end of criticisms, those who criticize, including journalists (or wannabe journalists?) should, at the very least, base these criticisms on facts, and not on fake news or hearsay.
In this case, Dulay noted that Tulfo did not even ascertain the truth of his facts.
According to Dulay, the Del Monte case never reached the Court of Tax Appeals, and "there was no compromise," as alleged by Tulfo.
"The collection was based on a series of assessments based on Revenue Procedures and delegated authority. These assessments were based on documents submitted as part of the Revenue Procedures. Thus, we cannot just make up a collection amount without evidence to support it," Dulay said.
Even BIR executive Teresita Angeles, whom Tulfo alleged was the woman in a video recording who supposedly spoke of rampant corruption in the BIR, has denied she was that woman.
Tulfo claims to be a journalist but has, time and again, proven he doesn't do the minimum requirements: Verify and get your facts straight. (Sponsored Content)