MANILA - Social Welfare Secretary Rolando Bautista broke his silence on the gaffe involving radio personality Erwin Tulfo Friday, asking for a public apology and donations to 19 hospitals and organizations.
Bautista, in a statement, said he would accept Tulfo's apology for as long as it would be published in major broadsheets, posted on major social media platforms, and aired on different local radio stations.
"Tinatanggap ko ang paghingi ng paumanhin ni Ginoong Erwin T. Tulfo alinsunod sa mga nakatakda na kailangan niyang gampanan sa lalong madaling panahon upang mapatunayan ang kaniyang katapatan," he said in a statement.
(I accept the apology of Mr. Erwin T. Tulfo as long as he meets the requirements set in the soonest possible time to prove his sincerity.)
Tulfo earlier hurled insults, on air, at Bautista, a former Army chief, for refusing to be interviewed last week. The radio personality has since apologized.
The incident spurred criticism from several of Bautista's colleagues in the military. The Philippine Military Academy Alumni Association, for instance, 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.
Aside from a public apology, Bautista also required Tulfo to donate at least P300,000 to 19 military hospitals and organizations.
Firms that should receive money from Tulfo are: The Philippine Military Academy; The Philippine Military Academy Alumni Association Incorporated; The Association of Generals and Flag Officers; The First Scout Ranger Regiment, PA; The Special Forces Regiment (Airborne), PA; The Light Reaction Regiment, PA; The Philippine National Police Special Action Force; The Philippine Naval Special Operations Group,PN; The Philippine Marines Special Operations Group, PN; The Philippine National Police Maritime Group; The Trust Fund for the City of Marawi's Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to be administered by DSWD BARM( Bangsamoro Autonomous Region); The Philippine Veterans Hospital; The AFP Philippine Army General Hospital; The Philippine Navy General Hospital; The Philippine Air Force General Hospital; The Philippine Coastguard General Hospital; and an Educational Trust Fund for the deserving children of DSWS employees to be deposited at Landbank.
The social welfare chief also thanked those who supported him, saying he would pray for them.
"Taos-puso po akong nagpapasalamat sa bawat isa po sa inyo na nagpaabot at nagpakita ng simpatya, pagkabahala, at suporta para sa akin nitong nakaraang buwan ng aking matinding pagsubok dahil sa paninirang-puri at insulto na naidulot ng programang Tutok Erwin Tulfo..." he said.
(I thank each of you who showed sympathy, worry, and support for me this past month over the difficult challenge I embarked on due to the insults brought about by the show Tutok Erwin Tulfo)
Tulfo has been stripped off his security detail earlier this week with Philippine National Police chief Oscar Albayalde admitting that the move was partly because the radio personality berated Bautista. On Friday, it was reported that Tulfo was also asked to surrender his firearms to the police.
Malacañang earlier said it supported Bautista in his row against Tulfo even as it urged involved parties to move forward from the incident.
"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 Monday.
"I think we should bury that. We should move forward," he said.
It can be recalled that the radio personality was under fire last year for a P60-million anomalous advertisement deal with the Department of Tourism while his sister, Wanda Teo, was still head of the agency. The money has yet to be returned to national coffers.