Solidarity in the time of COVID-19 -- MS Supplement

Living and working dangerously, as always

Before it’s too late, I would like to thank those who have expressed unwavering support to yours truly amid the controversy over my misdemeanor on the airwaves and having offended Social Welfare Secretary Rolando Bautista.

I have apologized and offer no excuses for overreacting to Sec. Bautista’s unavailability for a phone interview, ranting and using inappropriate language on the air. For the nth time, “I am really sorry.”

This unfortunate situation that I had caused myself, my brothers and my whole family drags on with this issue now being manipulated and fueled by unseen hands motivated by vindictiveness and political vendetta.

Former-Justice secretary Vitaliano Aguirre was quoted as saying it succinctly, “They (Tulfos) never expected the gravity of the backlash, coming as it did from the Military and the Police, the sector that the Tulfos cannot afford to fight at this time.” 

Indeed, it looks like this time I ran into some untouchable personalities in and out of the Duterte administration, purportedly gravitating toward Sec. Bautista, a former Philippine Army and Presidential Security general, and a revered Mindanao war hero. 

I have, along with my entire family, received just as much badmouthing from Sec. Bautista’s friends and supporters as I had verbally offended the honorable Secretary for which I readily apologized. I am truly sorry but whether or not I’m forgiven is beyond me.

The ex-honorable Justice secretary Aguirre went on to warn “If the Tulfos would be off the hook without learning their lessons, they would be back to their entitled and arrogant ways in no time.”

We find no malice on the part of PNP Chief Director-General Oscar Albayalde in his decision to strip us of our security detail and confiscation of my licensed firearms.

In the course of my work as a crusading broadcast journalist, I have earned the ire of criminal elements including scalawag cops and soldiers, as well as unscrupulous powerful personalities, and I’m just thankful to have been a privileged recipient, along with my brothers, of the PNP’s kindness providing security detail, true to its slogan to serve and protect.

I have received death threats, which I have learned to live with in my line of work, especially with the Tulfos’ public service work and brand of journalism, my bread and butter. With or without the PNP detail, we’re always a sitting target to big-time criminal syndicates in illegal gambling, illegal drugs, human trafficking, smuggling and gunrunning, etc.

Behind the bravado, verbosity, foul language and cursing, truth is I AM A NOBODY but a voice of the little man yearning and crying out for a better deal, hoping for a place in an even playing field in times of promised change.

The Tulfo brothers are no bigshots by any stretch of imagination. Boses lang po kami ng mga inapi at ng mga nakakaligtaan ng lipunan.

WE ARE NO HEROES. However,  we can’t just simply turn our back to those who ask for our help because, were taught by our parents to stand up and fight for those who are weak and helpless. And for decades we have committed to rendering that kind of public service in our own small way, though it will not earn an epitaph at Libingan ng mga Bayani.

Indeed, it’s a dangerous country for hard-hitting journalists, as it is for cops and soldiers but we’ve got a lot of work to do to make this country a better place to live for everyone.

May God bless us all.

Topics: Rolando Bautista , Vitaliano Aguirre , Philippine Army , Oscar Albayalde
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