Broadcaster Ben Tulfo, a known supporter of the Duterte administration, lashed out against Asia’s Songbird Regine Velasquez for criticizing the government over its South China Sea stance.
Velasquez recently responded to the tweet of Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro “Teddy” Locsin Jr. on Chinese fishermen’s illegal poaching of giant sea clams in Scarborough Shoal.
Tulfo, host of public service program “Bitag,” mocked Velasquez in the 12-minute video clip.
“Ano bang alam nitong si Regine Velasquez other than kumanta lamang, kung di man career na medyo dwindling down. And so, speaking up like may alam pag dating sa foreign relations or foreign affairs ang isang entertainer,” Tulfo said.
For him, what the celebrated singer did was dip her toes in an issue she knows nothing about.
He accused her of doing so to gain attention as her career is “dwindling down.”
“Ngayon nanay na, you know, siguro hindi na matanggap yung kanyang career na mejo dwindling na,” Tulfo said.
“Make sure na may laman ang utak mo. Make sure alam mo yung isyu and you can talk about it. Hindi mo ito balwarte. Yung kaalaman mo, itago mo na lang,” he added.
The journalist went on and said Velasquez should just focus on fixing her career instead.
Tulfo also told off others in the entertainment industry, whom he said should better remain silent on current affairs.
“Pag ikaw ay isang entertainer, entertainer ka lang. In the world of entertainment, ang trabaho mo ay magbigay aliw sa pamamagitan ng pagkanta,” he said.
Filipinos, no matter their profession, however, are guaranteed by the Constitution freedom of speech and expression to voice out their opinion and stance on issues they care about:
Section 4 of the Bill of Rights states:
“No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances.”
Tulfo, meanwhile, criticized Vice President Leni Robredo for her praises to celebrities like Velasquez who take a stance on issues.
Robredo previously said in a radio interview that she was inspired by these personalities for their courage to speak up.
“It’s not easy for those who find the courage to speak up because they’re vulnerable to attack. These people are brave for saying what’s on their mind,” she said.
What went before
Locsin downplayed reports of China’s poaching of giant clams on Scarborough Shoal as not worthy of defending.
“No one goes to war for clams (maybe Oysters of Locquemariaquer) but they just happen to be our food,” he said on Twitter.
The top diplomat may not be aware that giant clams play a significant role in maintaining a healthy marine ecosystem as filter feeders and reef builders.
Sadly, these mollusks are now considered one of the threatened species in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
Locsin’s now-deleted tweet earned the ire of Velasquez. She later responded: “These people are invading our territory they are not just taking food. Sinistra nila ang ating karagatan!”
Malacañang also said it will not do any “drastic” move against China despite its fishermen violating the country’s sovereignty and destroying natural resources.
Ogie Alcasid takes on Tulfo
Following Tulfo’s remarks against his wife, Ogie Alcasid offered him “his cheek.”
“After you have maligned my wife I ask that you focus on me. She is after all a lady. God bless you sir,” Alcasid said on Twitter.
Sir @bitagbentulfo . I offer my cheek to you. After you have maligned my wife I ask that you focus on me. She is after all a lady. God bless you sir.
— ogie alcasid (@ogiealcasid) April 23, 2019