By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea assured Special Envoy for Public Diplomacy to China Ramon Tulfo that he will not recommend the latter’s removal from his current post to President Duterte despite their feud.
Medialdea made the statement after Tulfo said the libel charges lodged against him by the Executive Secretary were a form of harassment because Medialdea can’t take negative news about him.
“Of course I will never do that (ask President Duterte to sack him). I am not a cry baby like Mon Tulfo who is now conveniently saying that he is a journalist being harassed,” Medialdea said in a text message.
On Friday, Medialdea confirmed that he has filed a libel complaint against Tulfo for the latter’s malicious accusations against him which was published in The Manila Times.
In his column entitled “Self-purgation should start with the Cabinet” published July 25, Tulfo shared the account of a Felicito Mejorado who claimed that his reward worth P272 million from the government for his tip on a smuggling operation in Mariveles, Bataan had been pending with Medialdea’s office for a year already.
Medialdea, however, said that Mejorado’s claim was denied by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and that the latter appealed the denial before Medialdea’s office. The appeal, according to Medialdea, has been pending for three months and not one year.
The Palace official added that the Office of the President (OP) already asked the Department of Finance (DOF) to forward all records related to Mejorado’s case.
Meanwhile, Tulfo said Medialdea should not be onion-skinned and that the libel charges against him were a form of harassment by the Executive Secretary.
“Parang harassment ‘yan e. Kasi parang pag sikikil sa karapatan ko bilang isang mamamahayag (I think it’s harassment because it’s like curtailing my right as a journalist),” he said.
“Si Ginoong Medialdea ay isang government official at dapat ay hindi siya onion-skinned. Iyon naman aking sulat ay fair commentary (Mr. Medialdea is a government official and should not be onion-skinned. What I’ve written was a fair commentary),” he added.
Tulfo said that he will face Medialdea and all future charges against him in court, and will continue to write about the irregularities in the Duterte government despite these.
“I welcome them. Kailangan ding malinis na kasi itong gobyerno natin. Akala ko ba change is coming o change was coming (Our government needs to be cleansed. I thought ‘change was coming’)?” he said.
“I will continue to write irregularities in the government of President Duterte. I will just face the cases in court kasi kung makipag-usap ako sa kanya ibig sabihin ay sumu-surrender ako. Wala naman akong malisya sa pagsulat, eh (Because if I talk to the Executive Secretary now, it would look like I’m surrendering. There was no malice on my part),” he added.