Ramon Tulfo, special envoy to China, took a jab at his younger Ben Tulfo for the tourism ad scandal his brothers got involved in last year as a response to another user asking him of it on Twitter.
The main tweet was Ramon’s view on the failed donation of former top diplomat Albert del Rosario for the 22 Filipino fishermen who were abandoned near Recto Bank after a Chinese ship hit and sunk their fishing boat.
He said Del Rosario’s initiative to donate following his being denied entry at the Hong Kong International Airport appeared like a cheap act.
The former top diplomat was held at the airport on June 21 for more than five hours. Airport authorities also questioned him even if he was authorized to travel there.
“He should be the last to do that coming as it does in the wake of his being barred from entering Hong Kong. He should have done that before he was refused entry,” Ramon tweeted.
Former Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario donating 500k to fishermen in the Recto Bank incident cheapens his act. He should be the last to do that coming as it does in the wake of his being barred from entering Hong Kong. He should have done that before he was refused entry,
— Ramon Tulfo (@RamonTulfoII) June 24, 2019
One user quipped in the comments that donating P500,000 is better rather than stealing P60 million from the government and refusing to return it.
To this, Tulfo replied: “Di ako ang nagnakaw ng P60 million. Kapatid kong si Ben ‘yung tinutukoy mo.”
Hoy, gaga! Di ako ang nagnakaw ng 60m. Kapatid kong si Ben yung tinutukoy mo.
— Ramon Tulfo (@RamonTulfoII) June 25, 2019
Earlier this month, he also mentioned Ben to be at fault in the controversy which caused the resignation of his sister Wanda Tulfo-Teo as tourism secretary.
“Sabi ko kay Ben diba ibalik mo, sabi nya bakit ko ibabalik eh ligal naman. So parang chicken and egg, balik mo, sabi nya oh ligal naman yung pagkagawa ko, pagkagawa namin,” Ramon said on CNN Philippines.
The Commission on Audit flagged P60-million worth of advertising contracts between state-run PTV-4 and the Department of Tourism during Wanda’s time.
Findings revealed that the DOT placed the TV ads in “Kilos Pronto,” the program produced by Ben and Erwin Tulfo.
Helping the 22 Reed Bank fishermen
Del Rosario, a businessman and the richest Cabinet member in the former Aquino administration, donated P500,000 to the fishermen and coursed it through the Department of Foreign Affairs.
However, sitting Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin tweeted that he had to return the money because the agency itself could not dispense donations. Otherwise, he’ll turn it over to the Bureau of Treasury.
“DFA cannot dispense donations. I certainly won’t turn it over to another department; that’s malversation. So with florid expressions of gratitude I had it returned to Del Rosario,” Locsin said.
Prior to this, Vice President Leni Robredo extended P50,000 worth of financial assistance to each member of the Gem-Ver 1 crew when she visited them in their homes in Occidental Mindoro.
The Department of Agriculture likewise promised to give P25,000 to them but they have to pay it back within three years.
Moreover, the government provided fiberglass boats to them for temporary use while the Gem-Ver 1 undergoes repairs.
However, these vessels which came from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources are significantly smaller than the boat they lost and could only be used in municipal waters.—Artwork by Uela Altar-Badayos