DSWD Chief’s Conditions for Erwin Tulfo’s Apology Includes Donations Worth P300k

Erwin Tulfo, a highly recognized broadcaster in the Philippines, recently made some controversial remarks against the sitting Social Welfare Secretary Rolando Bautista. He accused the DSWD Chief of being inefficient in office as well as untransparent for allegedly refusing an interview invitation. The passionate tirade earned the anger of Bautista and his supporters.


Image from RMN

During an episode of the radio program Tutok Tulfo, Tulfo was enraged over the supposed response of Secretary Bautista’s office to an interview request. He started his piece:

Sino ba ‘tong buang na ito? Pasensya na, maski tao ka ni Pangulong Duterte, lelecture-an na kita. [Who is this fool? I’m sorry, but even if you are President Duterte’s man I have to lecture you.] Listen up and listen good.

Tinatawagan ka namin para marining ng kababayang mahihirap ang stand ng mga mahihirap. Hindi yung sasabihan niyo kami na sumulat muna kayo five days before. Sino ka bang p****** ka na kailangan ko pang sumulat sayo? Sagutin mo yung telepono mo dahil Secretary ka ng DSWD! Gustong marinig ng mga kababayan natin anong magagawa mo para sa kanila.

[We are calling you so that the less privileged can hear your stances. Don’t tell us to write to your office 5 days in advance for an interview. Who do you think you are that I have to write a letter to you? Answer your phone because you are the DSWD Secretary! Our people want to hear what you can do for them.]


There were threats to slap and drown Secretary Bautista’s head in a toilet as well, despite him being a “retired general”. Although, this could have been Tulfo speaking only metaphorically. Tulfo explained that he intended to question the DSWD Chief on the department’s plans following the signing of the Magna Carta of the Poor. He pushed:

Yung ‘Wala kang silbi,’ that I will not take back because ayaw niyang sumagot. Mga tao nag-aantay. Ever since maupo si Secretary Bautista sa DWSD, ni nungka hindi malaman ng mga tao ang plataporma niya o ano ang plano niya sa ahensya.

[That ‘You are useless’, I will not take back because he did not want to answer. There are people waiting. Ever since Secretary Bautista took his DSWD position the people have been waiting to know his platform or plans for the agency.]

The outburst on his program on DZRB Radyo Pilipinas quickly triggered the ire of many of Secretary Bautista’s supporters. The Philippine Military Academy Alumni Association have threatened to file libel and oral defamation cases against Tulfo. While Philippine Information Agency Director-General Harold Clavit took to Facebook and criticized Tulfo for “this kind of journalism”.


On his part, Tulfo followed up the tirade with an apology for words said in the heat of the moment. He told CNN Philippines:

I ask for an apology sa excessive ranting, ‘yung sobrang pagmumura at galit ay medyo nasobrahan nga. Five minutes of ranting, I think that was too much… Pero ‘yung pagpupuna sa kanya na wala siyang ginagawa, na kailangan magtrabaho siya, it will stay. Hindi ko babawiin iyun, because wala sa lahi namin na binabawi ng commentaries namin about trabaho mo.

[I ask an apology for excessive ranting, I admit the swearing and anger were too much. Five minutes of ranting, I think that was too much… But my criticism that he has not done anything yet, that he has work to do, it will stay. I will not take that back, because it’s not in us to take back commentaries about your job.]

Secretary Bautista spoke up on the matter just last June 7 and gave very specific conditions for the acceptance of Tulfo’s apology. The first is that he asked for Php 300,000 to be donated to select institutions which he had been part of instead of paying the ‘damages made to his reputation’. These institutions range from the Philippine Military Academy to an Educational Trust Fund for the deserving children of DSWD employees.

His second condition is for a very public apology and admittance of mistake to be made and posted on all relevant social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube) and radio stations (DZBB, DZMM, Radio Singko News FM 92.3, DZRH, and DZRB). Secretary Bautista also asked for it to be published on all major newspapers. This would be in order to prove the genuine intention of apology.

Erwin Tulfo has yet to respond to these requests but his brother and fellow radio broadcaster, Ben Tulfo, was outraged over it. Ben called Secretary Bautista out over Twitter, naming him a ‘Padre Damaso’ type (or worse). He implied that the DSWD Secretary was making heavy demands which may not have been fair.

What do you think about this whole issue?