Who is afraid of Senator Raffy Tulfo?

WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty Josephus Jimenez - The Freeman

A number of powerful public officials and prominent business taipans and even religious leaders have had very bad days of being berated, lectured, and scolded by Senator Raffy Tulfo in Senate committee investigations whenever he does not like the tenor of their answers to his highly-provocative and judgmental questions. This is good politics but is this proper parliamentary behavior? I am not accusing, only asking.

Senator Tulfo is leading in many surveys conducted on who are the most probable presidential candidates in 2028. He even edges out the vice president, Sara Duterte Carpio. The House speaker is way, way behind. Well, they are assuming, of course, that our form of government will remain presidential by 2028. If the conspiracy theory proves itself true, then BBM shall remain president and head of state, and the speaker shall become the prime minister and head of government. All the presidential hopefuls will just wake up seeing their ambitions shattered when we become parliamentary. But this is another story. We shall elaborate on this tomorrow.

The top personalities who got a tongue-lashing from Senator Tulfo include the multi-billionaire Isidro Consunji, top honcho of the humongous DMCI, the multi-billion number one construction company that constructed the biggest royal palace in the whole world, the Royal Istana of Sultan Bolkiah of Brunei Darussalam. A few weeks ago, Senator Tulfo scolded Sid Consunji for supposedly sleeping while he was still making preliminary statements in an investigation connected to a labor case where officials of the NLRC, the Land Registration Authority, and other government offices were in attendance.

Senator Tulfo has openly scolded officials of the Department of Energy and Energy Regulatory Board as well as powerful men and women of the well-connected and allegedly well-funded (by China) NGCP. Tulfo berated NGCP for the new year blackout fiasco hitting the whole islands of Panay and Guimaras. The mayor of Iloilo and the governors of the provinces of Iloilo and Guimaras, of course, admired Tulfo for his guts hitting a powerful giant. The same reactions from the victims of NGCP and other power players' failure. Senator Tulfo is emerging as the defender of the poor guys against the rich and powerful tycoons and mighty public officials.

But I took pity on my good friend retired NLRC chairman Jerry Nograles, a very professional and honest career official, who got a scolding that he did not deserve in connection with the alleged unfair labor practice against a poor lady cashier of a leading department store in Makati. This poor worker complained to Senator Tulfo against unfair treatment that she got from management. Then Chairman Nograles was made to answer for things he was not even properly informed beforehand. I really sympathized with him because the hearing was seen all over the world via TV and YouTube and Facebook live streaming.

I am happy that Chairman Nograles has reached mandatory retirement age. But I can bet my life that he will never vote for Tulfo for president. Senator Tulfo is playing a very dangerous game. He antagonized many powerful rich people and he irritated, shamed, and traumatized some career officials and personnel. That may be good for the gallery and the masses would applaud him for that. But do you think these billionaires will ever contribute to his campaign fund? My unsolicited advice to such a good, brilliant, and promising man, Raffy Tulfo: "Hinay-hinay lang, bai.”

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