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12:11 AM May 12th, 2012

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By: Ramon Tulfo, May 12th, 2012 12:11 AM

I find it very unfortunate that my brothers—Ben, Erwin and Raffy—were suspended from their work on account of me.

What they said on Monday in their “T3” public service show on TV5 was an outburst of anger for the humiliation I suffered at the airport the day earlier.

Yes, they did wrong, but I’m proud to say they’re my brothers.

The Tulfos have always been a close-knit family.

Although sometimes we may have some differences—as people who are very close to each other sometimes quarrel—we patch up in no time.

Because of the pressure of our work and our relationships with our respective families, we have drifted away from one another.

Crises, like war, unite families and even nations. The crisis we are currently embroiled in has brought us together again, and our fraternal bond has become even stronger.

Severely whipped

I remember getting severely whipped by my mom when I was a kid for dropping Ben, who’s eight years my junior, on the floor when it was my turn to baby-sit him.

Each of us elder siblings—myself, Felix, Tuchi and Wanda—was given assignments to take care of the younger brood.

I was the laziest among the elder siblings in baby-sitting and would conjure up reasons why Tuchi and Wanda, who are not well-endowed, should carry our younger brothers in their arms, so they would develop big breasts when they matured.

I also remember the time when I would put drops of whiskey on Raffy and Erwin’s milk bottles so they would fall asleep while I go play with my friends.

This is the first time my mom will know this, but she always wondered then why baby Raffy and infant Erwin’s vomit always reeked of whiskey whenever it was my turn to baby-sit them.

I made up for my juvenile pranks toward Raffy and Erwin by supporting their way through college.

Ben, Raffy, Erwin and another brother, Joseph, lived with me in my cramped apartment in Teachers Village, Quezon City.

One time as I came home from work, I saw Raffy and Erwin tossing around my six-month-old son, Bon, as though the infant was a basketball.

I nearly hit the two with my fists, but then I remembered what I did to them when they were kids (shades of karma), and just laughed.

There were times when I forgot to give them their allowance for the week, and Ben and Erwin would go to my beat at the Western Police District (WPD) press office to get it.

Raffy, on the other hand, always playing hooky in school, would sneak into the press office and ask for his allowance.

My job as a journalist must have rubbed off on Ben, Raffy and Erwin because we once lived under one roof when they were in college.

Too harsh

Yes, I know as well as everybody else who watched that particular episode on Monday that they violated certain broadcast ethics. But don’t you think suspending them and their program, “T3,” is too harsh a punishment?

I’m not saying this because they’re my brothers but their constitutional right to free expression was violated by the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) when it suspended them.

Unless we were under martial law, the MTRCB had no right to do that.

Which is paramount, the constitutional right to self-expression or upholding broadcast ethics?

The MTRCB should have left to TV5 management the power to suspend Ben, Erwin and Raffy for their indiscretion.

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