Setting the record straight
I am writing this against the advice of other family members just to set the record straight.
They say the less we talk about the episode—the biggest crisis to hit the Tulfo family — the better for us as it will soon die down.
President Digong has advised the family not to talk to the media anymore.
I beg the President’s indulgence to allow me to speak as the self-appointed patriarch of the family.
The Tulfo siblings follow a hierarchical system in a military or feudal fashion: the elder sibling outranks the younger and so on down the line.
I am the eldest in the brood of 10.
When my father died in 1985, I took it upon myself to become the Tulfo patriarch.
I am not trying to get Wanda off the hook in a case that might constitute plunder; as I said earlier, I want people to know the inside story.
Wanda’s fault is that she did not get intelligent people as her staff. They would have advised her against signing a contract with PTV 4 where Ben was a blocktimer.
A blocktimer is not an organic member of a radio or TV station but one who pays for airtime.
She was clueless that Ben would get the lion’s share, so to speak, of the P60 million advertising contract.
She was only following President Digong’s injunction for all Cabinet members to support PTV 4 which is a government network.
Ben, who suffers from the “middle child” syndrome — he’s the fifth child after me, Wanda is the fourth — should have known better than to touch the multi-million peso advertising contract with PTV 4 since that would constitute conflict of interest on his sister’s part.
But Ben insists on his innocence, claiming that the Department of Tourism — of which Wanda was the erstwhile head — didn’t sign the contract with his company, Bitag Multimedia Network.
No amount of pleading from me when the uproar broke out could persuade Ben to admit it was his fault and not Wanda’s.
“F**k you! Don’t treat me like a child,” he told me.
Wanda, being older than Ben, wanted to save him even if it would put her in hot water, resulting in her eventually losing her job.
When she was appointed tourism secretary, she overlooked the fact that her husband, Roberto Teo, was still on the board of the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (Tieza), an adjunct agency of the Department of Tourism.
Otherwise, she could have told Bobby to resign his position since he had already been appointed to the Land Bank.
Bobby should have taken the initiative to resign since his wife was too busy with myriad things to realize that she was, in effect, practicing nepotism in her own backyard.
Back to Ben. He is the renegade among us, the black sheep.
Now tell me, which big family does not have a black sheep?
Wanda committed another booboo when she hired lawyer Ferdinand Topacio as her legal counsel.
The guy is all talk. He doesn’t care about his client; he only cares about getting publicity from a controversy.
When Topacio said the Tulfo brothers, in a family meeting, had decided to return the P60 million, the guy was talking for himself.
I was never consulted. Nor were Ben, Erwin or Raffy.
And why would I return the money that I never got in the first place?
That’s what Erwin and Raffy are also asking.
And by the way, Erwin was only Ben’s cohost at “Kilos Pronto,” the now controversial program. He is not part of Ben’s company.
President Digong should be commended for sacking Wanda.
Loyalty to country and people should take precedence over loyalty to friends and family.
Meanwhile, I am supporting Wanda’s fight to clear her name, but not Ben’s.
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