A former colleague of Social Welfare Secretary Rolando Bautista bared supposed details on why the latter rejected broadcaster Erwin Tulfo’s call for an interview.
Tulfo berated Bautista, a retired military general, for not immediately granting him an interview for his radio show “Tutok Tulfo” on Radyo Pilipinas.
Nick Sotelo, a military consultant, claimed on Facebook that Bautista was conversing with an ambassador at the moment when Tulfo’s staff was trying to reach him for the interview.
In the supposed exchange, Bautista suggested to Ivy Rivera, a member of Tulfo’s team, to contact another official, Irene Dumlao, from the Department of Social Welfare and Development instead to speak on his behalf.
This part of the narrative, however, was not mentioned in Tulfo’s on-air rant against Bautista.
“Goes to show how ill-mannered, mal-educated and feeling entitled despite perhaps being ‘helpful’ as they portray themselves to be,” Sotelo said on May 31.
“He used his radio program to lambast the good secretary thinking his childlike rants will gain more sympathy, but instead, proved to the contrary,” he added.
Facebook group Operations Research Philippine Army likewise defended Bautista, citing that his busy work schedule involves traveling and civilian interactions.
“The last time I checked personally, he is still on his workaholic mode, traveling from province to province, region by region to check the efficient and effective workflow of the agency. He makes sure that all programs targets the real beneficiaries,” part of the post said.
The one who wrote the post further denounced the controversial journalist as too conceited for his actions.
“Try to compare yourself dun sa taong minumura mo. Malayo,” the post read.
Bautista is a seasoned military commander who retired in October of last year. President Rodrigo Duterte appointed him to lead the DSWD shortly after the Army chief’s exit from service.
After receiving the early batch of criticisms, Tulfo admitted that his tirade against Bautista went too far.
However, he asserted his right as a journalist to criticize officials.
“I think I have a right bilang journalist at hindi ko babawiin ‘yun. Dahil kaming magkakapatid wala sa bokabularyo namin ang bumabawi sa commentary and it is not our option,” Tulfo said.
The word war stemmed from the episode of Tulfo’s radio show last May 28 where he was criticizing the previous administration for not signing the Magna Carta for the Poor.
Duterte signed this proposed measure into law on May 27.
Tulfo sought Bautista’s side, since the DSWD is among the agencies overseeing the implementation of its provisions.
However, when the latter supposedly rejected his call, Tulfo got furious.
“Sampalin kita ‘pag nakita kitang buang ka. Wala akong pakialam kung retired general ka. Ingudngud ko ‘yung mukha mo sa inidoro,” Tulfo said.
“Kung ako nahihirapan magka-access sayo, how much more ang mga mahihirap?” he added.