DSWD chief sets conditions for accepting Erwin Tulfo’s apology

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Secretary Rolando Bautista of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will accept the apology offered by Erwin Tulfo, who had berated him on national radio, if the broadcaster will meet certain conditions. 

In a statement on Friday, June 7, Bautista said Tulfo should publish his apology in the following media and platforms:

The DSWD chief is also demanding Tulfo to donate a minimum of P300,000 to each of the 19 organizations he had identified, mostly for health, education, and welfare needs of soldiers and residents of Marawi City.  

Bautista is a retired Army chief who had led the government body tasked to rehabilitate war-torn Marawi City. He is an alumnus of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA). (READ: FAST FACTS: Who is incoming DSWD chief Rolando Bautista?)

Tulfo called Bautista “buang” (crazy) on his radio program when the DSWD secretary was unavailable to be interviewed.  

“Sino ba itong buang na ito? Pasensiya na muna ano ha. Maski tao ka ni Pangulong Duterte, le-lecture-an muna kita,” Tulfo began his tirade on May 31. (Who is this crazy person? I apologize, but even if you were appointed by President Duterte, let me lecture you.)

Tulfo threatened to slap Bautista if he ever saw him, and to dunk his head into a toilet bowl. 

PMA alumni, soldiers and officers who had served with Bautista, and government employees and non-governmental organizations that had worked with him came out with statements condemning Tulfo’s behavior and expressing support for the DSWD chief. Testimonies about the character and service of Bautista also made the rounds on social media.  

In his statement, written in Filipino, Bautista thanked these organizations and individuals for “trust, faith, and respect” for him and, more importantly, the PMA, the Army, and the DSWD, where he had served. 

Tulfo and his brothers – all broadcasters – had also lost their security details from the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Marines shortly after the incident.  

On Friday, the PNP also ordered Tulfo to surrender his firearm. 

Hours after Bautista set the conditions for Tulfo's apology, the latter's brother, Ben, took to Twitter to slam these conditions.

“Putres na ‘brotherhood’! ang KAKAPAL! Ayon sa kumag na OIC, mag-sorry daw sa lahat ng media outlet. “BUTAW” na P300k kinakailangan para mahugasan ang kasalanan. Tsong, daig mo pa si Padre Damaso at mga kolokoy na kauri mo! Nagpapatawa ka ba?!” he said on Twitter.

(Damned this ‘brotherhood.’ You’re thick-faced! According to this idiot OIC, say sorry through all the media outlet. A P300,000-fee is needed to wash away the sin. Bro, you’re worse than Padre Damaso and the pranksters like you. Are you trying to be funny?) 

While some netizens supported his statement, there were those who asked him about the P60 million ($1.15 million) worth of advertisements that the Department of Tourism (DOT), then under their sister Wanda Teo, placed in Ben and Erwin's TV show, Kilos Pronto. Miriam Grace A. Go/Rappler.com