I know how to forgiveBy Ramon Tulfo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
“Kuya, my friends keep calling me asking why your sudden change of heart for the Arroyos. They have noticed it daw in your columns. They thought that what they’re experiencing is karma as you’ve been saying. But why are you defending the Arroyos now and attacking P-Noy who wants justice served? I hope you stop being on the side of the Arroyos.”
That message, sent through SMS [short message service] on my cell phone, came from my sister Wanda Teo who lives in Davao City.
Wanda is concerned over what people are saying—in her own words—“why your sudden change of heart for the Arroyos.”
Let me assure Wanda and her friends, as well as my other readers, that I am not siding with the Arroyos. Nor will I ever side with them in the future.
If I’ve written items in this column that tended to convey the message that I have reconciled with former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her husband, Mike, it was not intended.
I was just advising President Noy to follow the rule of law in serving justice to the Arroyo couple and not to be carried away by a desire for revenge.
Yes, what Gloria and Mike are going through now is poetic or karmic justice, but must P-Noy add to their woes by hounding them, using the awesome power of the presidency?
People are crying for the blood of the couple and instant surveys on TV news reflect their sentiments. Their hatred for the Arroyos is such that they want them persecuted—as opposed to prosecuted—for their alleged sins against the people.
Many people are backing P-Noy in everything he’s doing to the Arroyos, including throwing the kitchen sink at them.
But are we serving the ends of justice by doing to the Arroyos what they did to their enemies or critics when they were in power?
I thought that justice was not revenge but fairness.
If there is one person who should try to take revenge on the Arroyos for the oppression he suffered in their hands when they were in power, it should be me.
After I exposed the smuggling activities of Mike Arroyo’s paramour Vicky Toh in this column, the former First Gentleman was livid with anger.
He used the awesome power of government, as well as his influence, to get back at his former friend.
I lost my jobs as host of “Isumbong Mo kay Tulfo,” a popular weekly public service show on RPN 9, a government-sequestered station, and its counterpart on radio dwIZ, which was aired daily.
Mike Arroyo certainly knew where to hit hard: my pocket. I was earning six-figure amounts monthly from commercials on both my radio and TV shows.
Not content with depriving me of my livelihood, Mike ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to go after me.
The NBI at the time was headed by Nestor Mantaring, Mike’s lackey, who organized a special team to invent evidence against me.
Persons I had never known existed filed extortion cases against me, such as a janitor at the Bureau of Customs who claimed he was giving me P1,000 every month in exchange for not exposing him!
The unkindest cut of all was being charged with extortion by my long-time friends in the customs bureau—the very same people who provided me information about Vicky Toh’s smuggling activities—upon orders from Mike Arroyo.
Mike Arroyo harassed my brothers Raffy and Erwin by asking his friends at the Court of Appeals, where they had pending libel cases on appeal, to uphold the “guilty” verdict of the lower courts.
Erwin and Raffy were innocent bystanders caught in the crossfire in my war with Mike.
Mike also ordered cops to raid my house for unlicensed guns (I’m a gun collector and all my guns are licensed), but for one reason or another, the raid didn’t push through.
Men from the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines cased my house and made me know about their presence.
My permit to carry a firearm was not renewed, leaving myself defenseless from my enemies.
When I called Gloria, who asked me to write about Vicky Toh’s smuggling activities, for help, you know what she said?
“Settle your problem between yourselves since you’re close friends,” GMA said.
But why am I not getting back at the Arroyos?
Because I never hit an enemy when he’s down.
But most of all, I know how to forgive.
More from this Column:
- Thoughts on Holy Week
- Why college grads end up in the PNP
- The resilience of Boholanos
- It was difficult having Japanese blood
- Public stands to lose in Dellosa-Nepomuceno feud at Customs