The deferment of the confirmation by the Commission on Appointments in the case of Erwin Tulfo as secretary of Social Welfare and Development, now in limbo, brings into focus a myriad of legal and moral questions in the case of both elective and appointive officials.
Tulfo has been questioned on his citizenship when he became an American citizen when he entered the military service of the US military.
Likewise, his conviction for the crime of libel was also questioned since, Santa Banana, this carries the element of turpitude, a cause for disqualification for both elective and appointive officials.
When a Filipino enters the United States’ military service, he must renounce his Filipino citizenship which was given to him upon birth under the theory of “jus sanguinis” – which holds that the country of citizenship of a child is the same as that of his/her parents.
And when Tulfo returned to the Philippines and got back his Filipino citizenship when the dual citizenship law took effect, did he renounce his US citizenship before the US Embassy?
Tulfo must prove that.
Otherwise, he would have dual citizenship, a factor that disqualifies him to an elective position.
Recall that the late Perfecto Yasay, my gulay, was disqualified by the Commission on Appointments when it was found out that he had dual citizenship!
On Tulfo’s conviction of libel, which carries the element of turpitude, which has since become final and executory, Santa Banana, comes the question of moral turpitude.
While some lawyers claim that this can only apply to elective officials, it can also apply to appointive officials.
As the President’s executive secretary, retired Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin, should have his say. Personally I think this qualification should apply to appointive officials.
Thus, Santa Banana, it is my belief that Tulfo’s appointment as DSWD secretary should not only be deferred but rejected.
On the question of conviction of libel, comes the case of Senator Raffy Tulfo who was also convicted of libel. In fact, his case of having been convicted of libel, which became final and executory, can disqualify him as a senator.
This was brought up when he ran for senator during the last election, but was forgotten!
It is very clear that among the disqualifications to run for an elective official is conviction of libel, which carries the element of turpitude.
My gulay, this is a case for the Senate legal ethics committee in order not to discriminate in favor of any member of the Senate.
Was it true that the former legal wife had complained that Tulfo was living with another?
Santa Banana, whatever happened to that complaint, if it was true? Raffy Tulfo was a former broadcaster, now senator.
Please correct me if I am wrong, since I am depending on news reports. I could be wrong, my gulay!
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I had predicted that after President Marcos Jr. came out that the Sovereign Wealth Fund was his idea that soon he would have it certified as “urgent.”
Only six of the more than 300 members of the House of Representatives crossed party lines and voted for the Maharlika Investment Fund, with only six voting against the MIF from members of the Makabayan bloc and from Rep. Edcel Lagman as president of the Liberal Party on its third and final reading.
Santa Banana, creating the P2 billion MIF would now allow the government to invest in high-yielding investments like infrastructure and other economic activities to secure high-yielding profits in line with Marcos Jr.’s socio and economic programs.
The earlier SWF bill filed by no less than Speaker Martin Romualdez and other administration allies had earlier sough P275 billion from the Government Service Insurance Service and the Social Security System.
But strong opposition forced the Hose to discontinue with the GSIS and SSS participation for the MIF, and rely mainly on the Land Bank, the DBP and dividends of Government-Owned-and-Controlled Corporations (GOCC) and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas profits.
A colleague of mine who writes in another newspaper said it correctly, Santa Banana, that the MIF is Marcos Jr.’s first laudable initiative since it was his idea all along.
The Senate must now enact a similar bill, which earlier had been opposed by many, Santa Banana.
While the total amount as approved by the House, now totaling P210 billion, much smaller than the initial amount of P275 billion the SWF sought, it is likely that the Senate will scrutinize the House approved bill.
With the two contentions of the opposition now out of the question, the participation of the GSIS and the SSS and the question of accounting also removed, the Senate approval of the Maharlika Investment Fund is also assured.
As for accountability, with the administration’s economic manager headed by Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno, the problem of accountability is now assured.
It will now surely be a corruption- free investment fund.
Business leaders who earlier opposed the MIF because of the likelihood of corruption, I am sure, will now back the House-approved MIF.
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I can only laugh at the comment of Senator Bato dela Rosa that President Marcos Jr. is too soft in his campaign against illegal drugs with less than 100 having been killed during the first six months of the Marcos Jr. administration.
Bato dela Rosa, former President Duterte’s police chief when the latter ordered the police to kill all those involved in illegal drugs with Bato’s Operation Tokhang and Double Barreled war on illegal drugs, which even included killing of drug users and addicts who were mere victims of the illegal drugs trade, developed the culture of impunity and so many extra-judicial killings.
Now under the illegal drug war of BBM, the targets are more the drug lords, syndicates and those who have laboratories and homes manufacturing shabu, not drug users and addicts.
BBM’s campaign is also aimed at putting up rehabilitation centers, since the high incidence of drug addicts and users in the country is a matter of supply and demand.
For so long as there are drug users and addicts, the cartels and syndicates will be there to supply the demand.
In other words, BBM’s campaign against illegal drugs is humane, no longer the “kill, kill, kill” war of Duterte that gave rise to extrajudicial killings and promoted the culture of impunity.