Palace on Tulfo-Bautista tiff: Everyone deserves respect
By Azer Parrocha
MANILA (Philippines News Agency) — Respect should be given to everyone and it should also be earned.
This was the remark made by Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo following a tiff between broadcaster Erwin Tulfo and Social Welfare Secretary Rolando Bautista after the former berated the latter in the state-run Radyo Pilipinas for not granting him an on-air interview.
The action of Tulfo, brother of special envoy for public diplomacy to China Ramon Tulfo, prompted the Philippine National Police (PNP) to recall his police escorts.
Panelo said that although President Rodrigo Duterte will not meddle with the quarrel between Tulfo and Bautista, he reminded them that “respect should be given to everyone”.
“The style of the President, he never interferes with any feud between people,” said Panelo in a Palace briefing.
“Respect should be given to everyone and it should also be earned,” he added.
Panelo, however, said that the issue should be laid to rest because Tulfo has already apologized for his negative remarks against Bautista.
“The fact alone that Mr. Tulfo has apologized, I think we should also commend him for expressing an apology. I think we should bury that, we should move forward,” Panelo said.
Asked if Palace would support a probe into Tulfo’s tirade against Bautista, Panelo said he would leave the task to Communications Secretary Martin Andanar.
“I do not want to preempt whatever the head of the department would look at that incident. I will not interfere with the department, let the head of the department what he wants to do,” Panelo said.
Panelo, meanwhile, defended the explanation of Bautista, a retired military general, saying requests for interviews will have to be processed within five days.
“It depends on every Cabinet member. The schedule of a Cabinet member may be such so tight that it has to follow certain procedure,” Panelo said.
“Baka naman masyadong serious yung topic ng interview (Perhaps the topic for interview was too serious), he had to prepare for it,” he added.
Despite Bautista’s five-day condition before being granted an interview, Panelo maintained that Cabinet members under the Duterte administration are “accessible”.
“We are accessible. It takes a little time for others, but we are accessible. We do not block media from coming in,” Panelo said.
Panelo said the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Alumni Association had a “right” to express their outrage over Tulfo’s remarks against the retired general.
“That’s the right of any individual or group. They feel that their fellow member has been gravely offended and they rose to the defense,” Panelo said. (PNA)