Two IBP local chapters hit Ben Tulfo’s public condemnation of Iloilo lawyer | Inquirer News

Two IBP local chapters hit Ben Tulfo’s public condemnation of Iloilo lawyer

/ 07:02 PM August 27, 2021

Two IBP local chapters hit Ben Tulfo’s public condemnation of Iloilo lawyer

ILOILO CITY — Lawyers in Iloilo and Capiz have condemned what they said was the public “castigation” of an Iloilo-based lawyer by TV host Ben Tulfo in his “Bitag” program.


In separate statements, the Iloilo and Capiz chapters of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) said they will be taking legal steps against Tulfo for displaying “grossly unethical journalism in the guise of ‘investigative journalism’.”

The lawyers’ group was reacting to Tulfo’s comments against lawyer Kazper Vic Bermejo streamed on Bitag’s Youtube channel on August 21.


During the program, Tulfo castigated Bermejo for his handling of a complaint for grave threat filed by a client of the lawyer against a resident of Concepcion town in Iloilo.

Tulfo had cited purported irregularities and violations of legal processes in the filing of the criminal complaint and issuance of an arrest warrant against the respondent.

He accused Bermejo and his client of circumventing legal procedures by resorting to direct filing of a criminal complaint before a court instead of subjecting it to reconciliation at the barangay level.

Tulfo who admitted that he was not a lawyer but an “investigative journalist” called Bermejo hard-headed and “may gatas pa sa bibig (newbie)” aside from repeatedly asking him why he will not admit to his purported mistakes.

He claimed that the Iloilo judge who had issued the warrant of arrest against the respondent had even apologized.

Tulfo said he wanted “to school this attorney” so that he will learn.

But the IBP-Iloilo echoed Bermejo’s argument that disputes involving offenses punishable with imprisonment exceeding one year or a fine of more than P5,000 is among the exemptions in the barangay conciliation rule.


“The interpretation of Mr. Tulfo that the procedure requires preliminary investigation and barangay conciliation is not only erroneous but also misleading and has no basis under the law,” according to its statement.

The IBP-Capiz also defended Bermejo who hails from the province.

It said Bermejo “does not deserve to be called out and belittled by Mr. Ben Tulfo when, in truth, the latter has no expertise and authority to do so.”

While it recognized the “fundamental importance of the exercise of freedom of expression and of speech,” the IBP-Iloilo said upholding the integrity and independence of the judicial system is “equally as important.”

“(Tulfo’s) public condemnation of Atty. Kazper Vic Bermejo, which also attacked the judiciary and the legal profession in general, is both irresponsible and highly unethical,” it said.

The lawyers’ group said Tulfo’s action “is tantamount to obstructing the administration of justice which tends to bring the courts and officers into disrepute or disrespect.”

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TAGS: Ben Tulfo, Bitag, Capiz, Iloilo, Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), lawyers, public castigation, Regions
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