Who's afraid of Senator Raffy Tulfo?

WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez - The Freeman

If you have seen Senator Raffy Tulfo in action in Senate investigations and in Senate plenary sessions, you will readily come to the conclusion that he is apparently preparing to become the president of the Philippines come 2028. Whether the investigation is about the smuggling of sugar or its questionable importations, airport shenanigans, the price manipulations of onions, alleged corruption in government agencies, hazing, or assassinations, it’s always Tulfo who stands for the people.

Tulfo isn’t a lawyer but he dares to discuss legal issues more than the lawyers in the Senate like senators Chiz Escudero, Alan and Pia Cayetano, Francis Tolentino, Sonny Angara, and Koko Pimentel. Tulfo isn’t a part of the minority bloc. But his objections to the majority proposals are more pointed and adversarial than those of the minority leader Pimentel and his deputy Risa Hontiveros. Tulfo isn’t chairman of the labor committee, Jinggoy Estrada is. But he’s more active in committee hearings and plenary sessions when labor issues are discussed. He isn’t chairman of the agriculture committee, Cynthia Villar is. But his questions to alleged smugglers are more direct and confrontational. What’s he up to?

I have seen and heard how Tulfo scolded the NLRC chairman about labor issues. He was very angry and accusatory when he interrogated the security manager and operations head of Makati-based department store. He was defending a cashier summarily dismissed allegedly for not being able to account for ?5,000. He questioned internal financial systems and the manner by which that establishment treated its employees. He took all the allegations of the complainants and rebuffed the management and its lawyers. The proceedings were covered on national TV and there we witnessed how a senator berated company executives as well as DOLE and NLRC officials.

Rafael Teshiba Tulfo was born on March 12, 1960. If he becomes president in 2028, he will be 68. He is one of the feared Tulfo brothers, sons of Ramon Tulfo Sr., a colonel of the now-defunct Philippine Constabulary. Raffy or “Idol Raffy” as his millions of fans and on-line followers call him, is the eighth of 10 siblings, which include broadcasters and journalist Ramon Jr., Ben, Erwin, and former Department of Tourism head Wanda Corazon Tulfo Teo. We don’t know what course he finished but he became popular because of his radio program Wanted Sa Radyo and his very popular YouTube Channel, Raffy Tulfo In Action. In the 2022 elections, he got more than 24 million votes, next to Robin Padilla and Loren Legarda. He got more votes than Escudero, Villar, Cayetano, Zubiri, Villanueva, Ejercito, Hontiveros, Estrada, and former vice president Jojo Binay who didn’t make it to the magic 12.

And so, who should be afraid of Raffy Tulfo? I think Malacañang should be. Tulfo is a member of the majority coalition but he does not follow the party line. He is like an uncontrollable ballistic missile who attacks all regardless of party affiliation whenever he sees a chance to hit the targets. Vice President Sara should be afraid too because Raffy can be her strongest opponent in 2028. Those who are aligned with Malacañang, like Senate president Migz Zubiri, majority leader Joel Villanueva, ways and means committee chair Win Gatchalian and even House Speaker Martin Romualdez who may be tapped by the administration as standard bearer in 2028. Raffy Tulfo has a reserve of about 20 million die-hard supporters. No others could match that reserve power. All ambitious trapos should be afraid of Raffy Tulfo. He is the number one threat to the traditional politicians. His style is unorthodox and his following is much more than the mainstream masses.

Before and after 2028, all corrupt, inept, lazy, incompetent, and non-performing bureaucrats and political appointees should be afraid of Raffy Tulfo. All unscrupulous employers who exploit and harass their employees, all illegal recruiters, traffickers, smugglers, illegal gamblers, carnappers, robbers, and thieves must all be afraid of Raffy Tulfo. He is the true Ricardo Dalisay and Asyong Salonga, and is the enemy of the criminals, scoundrels, scalawags, and rascals.

Those rogues, reprobates, charlatans, swindlers, fraudsters, ruffians, racketeers, and rowdy scum of the earth better run away and disappear. Raffy Tulfo is the new Robin Hood and not Robin Padilla. The others do not have the fire of Raffy's belly. They do not have the angst and the drive of Tulfo. Raffy Tulfo is the next big thing in Philippine politics. Mark my words.


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