MANILA- Malacañang said on Monday it supports Social Welfare Secretary Rolando Bautista after he was berated by broadcaster Erwin Tulfo, but also urged the parties to move forward from the incident.
Tulfo last week lashed out on air and hurled insults at Bautista, a former Army chief, for refusing to be interviewed. The radio personality has since apologized.
"Well, Mr. Tulfo has his reasons for doing what he did. He apologized for it and I think we shall accept the apology. He was gentleman enough to apologize," Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said in a press briefing.
"I think we should bury that. We should move forward. Nag-apologize na iyong mama eh (The guy has apologized)," he said.
Panelo, however, clarified that Bautista enjoys the support of the Palace.
"We are supporting General Bautista; walang problema doon, talagang we are supporting him. Ang sinasabi ko, since nag-apologize na iyong mama at apparently inaamin niya na baka nagkaroon ng… na nag-over siya, eh nag-apologize na nga eh. But definitely, we are for General Bautista, as I said earlier," he said.
The Philippine Military Academy Alumni Association has defended Bautista, saying he has done more for the country than Tulfo ever will.
Bautista, the former commander of the Presidential Security Group, the 1st Infantry Division, and Joint Task Force Marawi, was in the frontlines during the height of the Marawi siege, earning the respect of military men who fought alongside him.
"You cannot stop them (PMA alumni) also to express their outrage. That’s the right of any individual or group," Panelo said.
"That’s their right. They feel that their fellow member has been gravely offended and they rose to the defense," he said.
Tulfo has been stripped off his security detail with Philippine National Police chief Oscar Albayalde admitting that the move was partly because the radio personality berated Bautista.
The military earlier pulled out the security detail of Tulfo's older brother, Ramon, but said it was unrelated to the younger sibling's comments against Bautista.