MANILA - Lawyer Ferdinand Topacio on Thursday branded columnist Mon Tulfo as "ulyanin" (senile) after the latter criticized the lawyer as "all talk" and only caring about getting publicity from a controversy.
In an Inquirer piece, Tulfo said his sister former Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo made a "booboo" when she tapped the services of Topacio after state agencies questioned the tourism department's placement of P60 million worth of ads in the television program of her brothers Ben and Erwin Tulfo.
Topacio was "speaking for himself" when he said that the Tulfos will return the ad payment, Ramon said.
The self-tagged Tulfo patriarch also said Topacio was "all talk" and "doesn't care about his client."
Sought for his comment, Topacio told reporters: "Kailangan pa ba yun? Sabi ng nanay ko, 'wag na pumatol sa ulyanin eh."
(Is that needed. My mother said, don't pay attention to senile people.)
Topacio reminded the eldest Tulfo sibling that he once served as his lawyer.
"'Yung sinasabi niyang the guy is all talk and he doesn't care about his client, he must have forgotten kasi ulyanin na nga," the lawyer said.
(About what he said that the guy is all talk and he doesn't care about his client, he must have forgotten because he's already senile.)
"Sometime in the year 2000 or 1999, he was my client together with Raffy Tulfo. So why would he hire me if I were all talk, di ba?” he added.
Topacio also revealed Mon Tulfo sought his help just weeks ago for the columnist’s plans to run for senator.
“Napakaplastik nitong si Tulfo eh. Two weeks ago nakita ko pa sa HKG ito. Of all people naman napaka malas ko naman of all people to bump into in HKG," he said.
(This Tulfo is so plastic. Two weeks ago, I saw him in HKG. Of all people in HKG, I'm so unfortunate to bump into him.)
"Kasama ko si FG (former first gentleman Mike Arroyo). Niyakap pa niya si FG, niyakap pa niya ako. Sabi niya, 'Huy, you help me. Tatakbo akong Senado.'"
(I was with FG. Mon hugged FG, he also hugged me. He said, 'Hey help me. I'm running for Senate.)
Topacio also denied that he did not consult his client before telling the media that the Tulfos have agreed to return the P60-million ad money.
“Why would I do that? A lawyer never gives any information publicly without any clearance from his client and my client in this case is Secretary Wanda Teo who in a telephone conversation [said] ganito nangyari,” he said.
Topacio also said he spoke with both Teo and Ben Tulfo before making the announcement.
"As a lawyer, I'm basically an agent of my client. I do what my client tells me to do... He (Ramon) is not my client so I don't give a whit what Tulfo says," he added.
The lawyer, however, refused to confirm a supposed fight among the Tulfo siblings.
Ramon, in his Inquirer article, said Ben, the "black sheep of the family" should have "known better" than to touch the ad deal since that "would constitute conflict of interest on his sister’s part."
"I don't want to delve into that. That is only something that belongs well within the family... I am out of it kung may hidwaan sila (if they have a feud)," he said.
"For the record, ang kaibigan ko talaga sa mga Tulfo, si Raffy. Raffy, compared to Mon, napakadisente, napakaayos kausap at pinakamagandang lalake sa mga Tulfo."
(For the record, my friend among the Tulfos is Raffy. Raffy, compared to Mon, is very decent, good to talk with, and is the most handsome among the Tulfos.)