Senator Trillanes and the Tulfo Siblings Exchanged Insults at a Senate Hearing - The Daily Sentry

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Senator Trillanes and the Tulfo Siblings Exchanged Insults at a Senate Hearing

Senator Trillanes and the Tulfos (Photo credit to Inquirer and Rappler)
On Tuesday, August 14, 2018, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV and the Tulfo siblings exchanged affront during the hearing of the Senate blue ribbon committee on the controversial P60 million advertisement deal between the Department of Tourism (DOT) and state-run PTV4.

Siblings Wanda Tulfo-Teo, former Tourism Secretary, producer Ben Tulfo and broadcast journalist Erwin Tulfo were all present at the hearing.

Toward the beginning of his cross examination, Senator Trillanes reminded the Tulfos that a crime of plunder involves a punishment of reclusion perpetua to death.

Senator Antonio Trillanes IV (Photo credit to GMA Network)
The senator then sarcastically said that since the country has no death penalty anymore, the siblings are indeed lucky.

“So wala tayong death penalty so swerte niyo,” the senator sneered.

He then aimed his first question to Wanda Tulfo-Teo, who prior asserted that she didn't know that the advertisement money was set in her sibling Ben's show "Kilos Pronto" with PTV4.

With that being said, Senator Trillanes fires at the former DOT chief and said that her statement was just her declaration and she can try to to utilize it as defense in court and see whether it could hold, including that the whole nation would not trust Tulfo-Teo's claim.

"Yan po ang assertion niyo, subukan niyo sa korte na defense; tingnan natin kung mag hold ‘yan", Trillanes said.

Likewise, Tulfo-Teo hits back at the senator and said that it would be his declaration as well.

“Your honor, that’s your assertion,” the former DOT chief uttered.

Trillanes thereupon continued, saying the ad screw up was only a brief look at how Tulfo-Teo was "reckless" in dispensing the DOT's assets.

In her defense, Tulfo-Teo asked if she can answer saying she is not negligent with regards to dispensing of funds.

“Your honor, can I answer? I’m not reckless when it comes to disbursement of funds,” she exclaimed.

However, Senator Trillanes did not gave her ample time to speak, thus, scornfully said that he actually do not have any question so there will be no answer needed from the former DOT chief.

“Well wala akong question so hindi kailangan ng sagot,” Trillanes said.

Senator Trillanes at that point fired his next question to Ben Tulfo, and asked the aggregate sum that the latter got from the advertisement deal.

Yet, Ben Tulfo said they still can't seem to account the total payments they acquired and they actually do not have the record off hand but they can exhibit it possibly in the official courtroom.

Off hand, I don’t have a record but we can present it maybe in the court of law,” Ben said.

Senator Trillanes at that instant fires at Ben and sharply said that the siblings are avoiding the issue now that they are in face of the truth, but fearless when they are in their radio program.

“Ito na, panay ang iwas na. Pero dun sa radio program kay tatapang e pero ngayon nabibilaukan. ‘Pag katotohanan, ang hirap lumabas no?” Trillanes said.

The Tulfo siblings during the senate probe (Photo credit to ABS-CBN)
Ben Tulfo desired to react to the senator's remark however the latter overlooked him and continued to make another inquiry.

The chairman of the committee, Senator Richard Gordon, at that time needed to blast the gavel to keep the hearing in order an interceded again when Erwin Tulfo later asked Trillanes to first prove his plunder accusations against them.

Erwin Tulfo then challenged the senator to prove that there is indeed a plunder before he insist on such.

“Kanina ko pa naririnig, inipilit mo na may plunder. Patunayan mo muna na may plunder, bossing,” Erwin fiercely said.

Soon after, he added that it is not for Trillanes to decide but the court.

“It’s not for you to decide, it’s the court to decide, sir,” the broadcast journalist exclaimed.

After the exchange of insults, Gordon counseled everybody in the hearing room, including Senator Trillanes, and pronounced that it was just the latter’s style of questioning, thus, there was no conclusion yet in the hearing.

Source: Inquirer