Former Special Envoy to China Mon Tulfo and First Lady Liza Araneta Marcos,
I DON’T think so. I spoke with Mon Tulfo on Tuesday afternoon, and I asked him pointblank if the first lady had anything to do with his sacking by the Philippine Star. He denied it and said that he received a call from Miguel Belmonte informing him of his termination, and that it was a “board decision.” Belmonte also said that it was his brothers who had asked the board for his head.
Mon would have none of it. He could not believe his brothers would offer his “head” out of spite, or for any reason at all. I called Erwin Tulfo, erstwhile DSWD secretary, to verify if indeed they had anything to do with his elder brother’s fall from the Star, and he denied it too.
He told me that Mon’s firing was not what the Tulfo brothers had previously agreed with the Star. It was their understanding that the Star would talk to Mon and try to persuade him to go soft on the first lady, and not fire him. If that were so, what went wrong? Did the Star renege on its word?
The text message
The other day, a high-ranking Palace official forwarded me Erwin Tulfo’s text message to the first lady:
“We, the Tulfo siblings yesterday asked the Philippine Star Board to remove our brother, Ramon, as one of its columnist (sic) because he has already caused a lot of pain not only to so many people but also to our family. The board agreed and promised he will be removed by February 16.
“That’s one less headache for the family.”
What is clear to me is that the first lady had nothing to do with the firing of Mon Tulfo from the Star, but that she was hurting from the negative press from some of her detractors who were formerly supporters of the President. It is also highly possible that she may have “unloaded” her “hurts” to some of her friends, Erwin Tulfo included.
It is also pretty obvious that there’s a feud in the Tulfo family. The Tulfo brothers are on a collision course. Their professional trajectories are pointed at each other. The world has become too small for the brothers’ individual ambitions.
Take the case of Erwin. He is rumored to get another government post after the Commission on Appointments had rejected his designation as DSWD secretary. In his calculation, Mon’s tirades against the first lady and the President might cancel his re-appointment to the government. For Erwin, it is his head, or Mon’s.
It would seem to me that Mon’s siblings no longer consider him as the family patriarch. I am not surprised. Sen. Raffy and Erwin are very popular and it is not at all surprising if they had placed themselves as “head of the family,” displacing their elder brother Mon who, according to Erwin, “is a loose cannon.”
Unfortunately, in asking for the head of Mon, the Tulfo siblings put the first lady in a bad light. The firing of Mon at the Philippine Star could add fuel to the suspicion that she is protecting her younger brother, Martin Araneta, whom Mon Tulfo has accused of shenanigans at the Bureau of Customs.
The Tulfo brothers have the mistaken notion that the best way to defend the first lady and her brother Martin is to “kill the messenger.” Good luck.
I fault the Tulfo brothers for the first lady’s dilemma, particularly Erwin, whose overdriving ambition has gotten the better of him. And what better way to worm himself back into the good graces of the Marcoses but to brownnose to the first lady by offering Mon’s head on a “silver platter.” What a pity. Brother against brother.
My unsolicited advice to the first lady is to steel herself against criticisms. She must learn to face the fury of her detractors not by engaging them over petty and personal issues, but by burying herself in social work and helping to elevate the quality of education; after all she is a gold standard lawyer and educator. She should expect more criticisms to come her way. She need not fear the negative press as long as her conscience is clear. She must address the issues hounding her and her brother Martin in a clear and sober fashion.
She gains nothing by being overly sensitive. Above all, Mrs. Marcos should face her detractors with elan befitting a first lady.
Silence is not an option here. The issues are serious enough. They merit some kind of attention, and maybe even response from her or from the Palace. More importantly, she must keep her head. She must summon her courage to resist the pull of intoxicating power and the lure of personal vanity.
As for her brother Martin, he should break his silence by introducing himself to the public not through well-crafted propaganda, but by disclosing what business(es) he is in or businesses he manages.
Substance, not form. For example: A series of features or stories on how he successfully runs his businesses, and how profitable they are would silence his critics. Failing in that, he will always carry the burden of suspicion that his main business is to “fix things.” In other words, a fixer. My two cents worth.
(Disclosure: First lady Liza Araneta Marcos is godmother to my daughter at her wedding. I was not involved in the Marcos 2022 presidential campaign, but I supported him in my own small way and voted for him.)
READ MORE: https://aseanews.net/2023/02/07/op-ed-opinion-politiko-news-by-mon-tulfo-kaya-raw-presyong-ginto-mon-tulfo-tags-liza-marcos-brother-in-onion-smuggling/
Kaya raw presyong ginto! Mon Tulfo tags Liza Marcos’ brother in onion smuggling
In a series of posts on his Facebook page, From Where I Sit by Ramon Tulfo II, the Philippine Star columnist claimed Araneta is in cahoots with China-Philippines United Enterprises president Michael Ma, to control the supply of onions to jack up prices
Continue reading- READ MORE: https://aseanews.net/2023/02/07/op-ed-opinion-politiko-news-by-mon-tulfo-kaya-raw-presyong-ginto-mon-tulfo-tags-liza-marcos-brother-in-onion-smuggling/
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