Social Icons

twitterfacebookgoogle pluslinkedinrss feedemail

Monday, March 24, 2014

Erwin Tulfo files P12-M libel suit vs PDI over pork scam story

From the Website of INQUIRER

Erwin Tulfo files P12-M libel suit vs PDI over pork scam story


MANILA, Philippines — News anchor Erwin Tulfo filed on Monday morning a libel charge in the Quezon City prosecutor’s office against the Philippine Daily Inquirer, seeking P12
Broadcaster Erwin Tulfo. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO
million in damages for an article allegedly implicating him as a beneficiary in the diversion of congressional pork barrel allocations. 

Tulfo, TV5 news anchor, named as respondents in his libel complaint Inquirer editor-in-chief Letty Jimenez-Magsanoc; managing editor Jose Ma. Nolasco; news editor Artemio Engracia Jr; and reporter Nancy Carvajal. A March 19 PDI article had named Tulfo and another radio news program anchor as recipients of parts of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) coursed through the state-owned National Agribusiness Corp (Nabcor). 

Speaking to reporters, Tulfo said that in filing the libel case he wanted to clear up things. While admitting that he had received in 2009 a check for P245,535 as payment of the premiums for 3-minute advertisements in his 2-hour program then aired over DZXL-Radio Mindanao Network (RMN), he said that there was nothing illegal in the transaction. 

He said that as a radio broadcaster then, the 3-minute commercials were for the Department of Agriculture and not specifically for Nabcor. 

“Maybe it was misinterpreted by the paper (PDI). The whistleblowers had to come up with something new, something that has not been said before, to be part of the witness protection program so maybe that is why they implicated media men,” Tulfo said. 

He added that he was inclined to forgive and forget if the paper would make the proper rectification of the March 19 article, “Payoffs to Media Bared.” “It is very damaging to my integrity. It is very important for my name to be cleared. My credibility and integrity as a media practitioner depends on it,” Tulfo stressed.
In his four-page libel complaint, Tulfo claimed that there was deviation in the facts and that the article, which branded a legitimate deal as a “payoff,” made it appear that the transaction, evidenced by an advertising contract, vouchers, and a check, was illegal. 

He alleged, “The word of phrase used by news reporter Nancy C. Carvajal in her item as ‘in the guise of advertising expenses’ is a mere conclusion of facts and a complete departure from the accompanying documents. Thus, it falsely and maliciously conveyed to the minds of the readers that I acquired and got (sic) benefited from the people’s money known as the PDAF through fraudulent transaction while I was then serving as a radio broadcaster of DZXL-RMN from 2006 to 2009.” 

He further claimed, “To add insult to injury, my name is being dragged and carried out (sic) by other media and social networking services, which implicated Ms. Janet Lim-Napoles and other government officials.”
Tulfo maintained that the assertions against him in the article were “baseless, damaging and products of an irresponsible reporting with prejudiced mind.” He claimed that the article maliciously imputed to him a crime and a circumstance causing him dishonor, discredit or contempt as a prominent TV news anchor and radio broadcaster as well as mental anguish, sleepless nights and public ridicule. 

He said that for the alleged damage to his reputation and emotional distress caused by the article he was entitled to a P12-million compensation.


Was PMA’s Honor Code violated?


My brother, Erwin, is “happy” over the impending investigation by the Department of Justice of journalists who supposedly received “payoffs in the form of advertising expenses.” 

“Kuya (big brother), that amount (P245,535) was  paid to RMN (Radio Mindanao Network) under my name by the National Agri-Business Corp. (Nabcor) for radio commercials. I have papers to prove it,” said Erwin when I talked to him over the phone. 

“I’m happy the DOJ will conduct an investigation because then I’ll be able to give my side and present papers,” he said. 

Erwin once worked for radio dzXL of RMN and solicited commercials for his radio show. 

* * * 

I welcome criticisms from the public, even those calling me names, over reports of Erwin’s alleged journalistic indiscretions. 

I am my brother’s keeper, ain’t I? 

Being a hard-hitting columnist, I can also take what I dish out. 

I am even flattered that people criticize me because it means they read me; otherwise, why should they give a hoot? 

But I’d like to send this message to the anonymous blogger who said he would spit in my face when he sees me in public. 

Please don’t! You might regret it. 

It’s my constitutional right to defend myself. 

* * * 

The violation of the Philippine Military Academy’s Honor Code for cadets is misplaced in the case of First Class Cadet Aldrin Jeff Cudia. 

Cudia allegedly lied when he said he was late for  class because he was made to stay behind by his instructor in a previous class. 

The Code mandates a cadet not to steal, cheat or lie and also not to tolerate another cadet who steals, cheats or lies. 

For the sake of argument, let’s say that Cadet Cudia lied: that it was he who remained in the previous class and not the instructor asking him to remain, as he claims. 

By his lying—admitting for the sake of argument—did he do harm to his classmates?
When a cadet cheats in class, he takes advantage of his fellow cadets who studied hard.
When a cadet steals from a fellow cadet, he deprives the other fellow of his belongings.
Lying is secondary to cheating or stealing, which both harm others.
But Cudia neither cheated nor stole. 

Now, how did Cudia harm his fellow cadets when he lied about the reason for his tardiness—if indeed, he did lie?
* * *
A Bureau of Customs employee, a woman, is a former PMA cadet.
She was dismissed for violating a provision of the Honor Code.
The woman allegedly stole personal belongings from fellow cadets.
As a customs employee, she’s like a fox being made to guard a chicken coop.