Erwin Tulfo is fourth member of family to take oath as lawmaker
MANILA, Philippines — The latest member of the Tulfos to take a seat in Congress has deflected criticism that the family of media practitioners is building a political dynasty in the legislative branch.
Former Social Welfare Secretary and Anti-Crime and Terrorism Community Involvement and Support (ACT-CIS) party list Rep. Erwin Tulfo said he is ready to show the public that his family is earnest in serving the public and won’t be “doing nothing.”
“I’ve just taken my seat; how can I be a dynasty? Anyway, we will just show them. There’s a difference. You’re a dynasty if you’re not doing anything, if you’re just sitting there and doing nothing, staring at the ceiling. But if you do something and perform, the people will see that. Let them decide,” the lawmaker told reporters on Wednesday.
The day before, Tulfo took his oath as a party list lawmaker, a week after the Commission on Elections (Comelec) junked a disqualification case against him.
Tulfo became the fourth member of his family to have a seat in Congress after being sworn in by House Majority Leader Rep. Manuel Jose Dalipe.
House Secretary General Reginald Velasco said the Lower Chamber was informed by the Comelec that it can “go ahead with the oathtaking” of Tulfo.
Tulfo took the third seat as representative of the ACT-CIS party list, replacing former Rep. Jeffrey Soriano, who resigned last February.
ACT-CIS Rep. Jocelyn Tulfo is the wife of Sen. Raffy Tulfo, Erwin’s brother. Rep. Ralph Tulfo of Quezon City’s second district is Raffy’s son.
The Comelec did not object to Tulfo’s oathtaking on Tuesday night as ACT-CIS party-list representative, despite a pending appeal to the poll body’s dismissal of a disqualification case against him. Comelec Chair George Garcia reasoned that the House of Representatives (HOR) has “absolute prerogative” on administering the oath of office to incoming members.
“It’s up to the HOR being a political question,” Garcia replied on Tuesday night via Viber when asked by reporters whether Tulfo can assume office despite the pending appeal before the Comelec en banc.