A bully broadcaster
“Amba, gud pm. In the spirit of the Lenten season, I extend my hand of apology for the wrongs I have made and ask for forgiveness.”
That was the text message sent to a radio station owner who is a former ambassador; hence the address “Amba.”
The sender is a well-known broadcaster who recently shoved an old man out of an elevator in a building in Pasig City.
The old man practically flew out of the elevator after he was yanked out by the broadcaster and his bodyguards, according to witnesses.
A footage of the incident taken by a closed circuit television camera showed the frail old man falling to the cement floor.
His only fault? Being in the same elevator as the broadcaster and his bodyguards.
When the broadcaster and his bodyguards got into the elevator, the old man was standing beside the elevator operator.
The broadcaster, however, ordered him to move to the back so that he and his bodyguards would be standing next to the door.
The old man reasoned that his destination was on the fourth floor so he would be going out ahead of the broadcaster who was going to the radio station on the fifth floor.
The old man is an insurance agent who reports to his office on the fourth floor.
The big, fat broadcaster was apparently irked by his refusal to move to the back of the elevator as he had ordered.
I am ashamed at what the broadcaster did because we work in the same radio station.
Ironically, he supposedly helps the oppressed get justice through his program: “Hustisya para sa Lahat (Justice for All).”
I felt compelled to write about the incident—even if he happens to be my colleague—because the title of my program, as well as its battle cry, is “Inapi ka ba? Isumbong mo kay Tulfo (Have you been oppressed? Seek me out).”
I couldn’t live with my conscience had I let that incident pass.
* * *
I can’t stand a person bullying another.
If the bully happens to be a friend, that’s the end of our friendship.
I grew up, along with my nine siblings, in a home where the strong protected the weak; the elder took care of the younger.
My father, an officer of the defunct Philippine Constabulary (PC), inculcated in us the trait of taking up the cudgels for the weak.
I once saw my old man slapping a PC corporal in front of a Chinese-Filipino restaurant owner who reported to him the trooper’s abusive acts: Drinking beer in the Chinoy’s restaurant with friends, touching the private part of the waitresses who served them when he got drunk, and getting angry after he was handed the bill.
Not content with laying a hand on his subordinate, my father ordered him detained in the camp’s stockade (military term for jail) for several days, and for the soldier’s debt to the Chinoy to be deducted from his salary.
(Today, a superior officer can no longer beat up a subordinate as a matter of discipline, what with human rights groups staring down at him).
So now, hopefully, you will be a little more understanding if you see my brothers Ben, Raffy and Erwin sometimes go overboard berating an abusive policeman on television, or when I curse bullies who work in government on my radio program.
It’s not a put-on. We are just our father’s sons.
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