Who is afraid of the Tulfo brothers?
WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B Jimenez (The Freeman) - August 14, 2019 - 12:00am

There are no bullies, if all others refuse to be bullied.

There was a time not too long ago, when company owners and their staff, as well as government officials and personnel, were too afraid of the name Tulfo. These brothers, Ramon Jr., Erwin, Ben, and Raffy, acquired the reputation of being bullies on the air.

Those who know them, however, testify that they are really essentially nice guys who have grown exasperated by the laziness, negligence, and lack of courtesy among government employees. They style themselves as knights in shining armor trying to rescue the poor Filipinos who are ignored and even cheated by both the government and private firms.

Personally, I thought that we need this kind of bullies to make inept civil servants and private firm frontliners do their jobs with urgency and care. But with certain limits.

Led by the eldest, Ramon Jr., the Tulfo brothers have somehow perfected the art and science of following up papers, mixed with threats and insults. They would shout, berate, and express anger concerning documents under process for too long or pending cases that seem forever.

They reprimand officials on air concerning ongoing incidents involving both private and public sectors without deadlines and timetables. These brothers have developed the art of pressure politics and getting their way. Even government officials cower in fear because they project an image of being close to Malacañan. They are from Davao, you know.

Wikipedia recorded an incident when Ramon Jr. allegedly caused a ruckus in the Philippine General Hospital. He wanted to video a doctor who was about to treat a child with minor injuries. The doctor refused. Thus, the Tulfo temper raged and a commotion supposedly took place.

Not too long ago Erwin made the mistake of insulting in his program DSWD Secretary, three-star general, Rolando Bautista, allegedly calling him “buang” when Bautista wasn’t available for an interview. Because of that, the whole community of PMA graduates rose in defense of Bautista and the Tulfos were barraged with hate mail. They were supposedly ordered to surrender their firearms and their security personnel were withdrawn. This was the start of their falling out with the government.

Since President Duterte doesn’t consider anyone a sacred cow, the sister of the Tulfos, Wanda Tulfo Teo was removed as secretary of the Department of Tourism. There was an alleged red flag raised by the Commission on Audit concerning a placement of P60 million by the DOT in the TV program of one of the Tulfo brothers.

They were ordered to return the amount to DOT but I don’t know if that was followed. COA deemed it inappropriate that a sister in government would allocate public funds for a program of her brother on TV. Just a few days ago, Executive Secretary Medialdea allegedly filed libel charges against Ramon. With all these, I surmise that the Tulfos are not really untouchables and they are not really worth being feared.

These sons of former Philippine Constabulary colonel Ramon Tulfo Sr. of Ilocos Norte and a Japanese Filipina from Davao Oriental, Caridad Teshiba, are brainy boys with character. They are aggressive, talkative, somehow confrontational and leaning towards bullying at times. But they aren’t malicious or deceitful.

They want government people to be hardworking and honest. Of course, at times, they tend to be carried away by the famous Tulfo temper. Now, they are quiet and seem to be behaving. Let’s watch how their party list will fare in Congress.

josephusbjimenez@gmail.com

ROLANDO BAUTISTA
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