Under fire, Ben Tulfo says not close with siblings


Posted at Aug 14 2018 03:20 PM | Updated as of Aug 14 2018 03:49 PM

Broadcaster Ben Tulfo appears at a Senate hearing on the Department of Tourism's controversial P60-million ad placement on his show "Kilos Pronto". Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Like oil and water. 

This was how broadcaster Ben Tulfo described his relationship with his siblings as their family faced public scrutiny over allegations of corruption.

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Ben made the remark Tuesday as he, along with his brother Erwin and sister, former tourism secretary Wanda Teo, faced a legislative inquiry over the placement of P60 million in tourism advertisements on his show "Kilos Pronto."

"Kami hong magkakapatid, mawalang galang lang, maliban kay Erwin, may kani-kaniya ho kaming buhay," Ben told lawmakers.

(We siblings, pardon me but besides Erwin, we have our own lives.)

"Ang relasyon ho namin hindi ho close, FYI. Kalat naman ho sa media 'yan. I mean kami ho ng isa kong kapatid para kaming langis at tubig, hindi kami puwede ihalo," he added.

(We are not close, FYI. That is all over the media. I mean I and one of my siblings, we're like oil and water, we cannot be mixed together.)

Ben explained that he and brother Erwin have a huge age gap with their sister Teo.

"Do we listen to one another? We have our own decisions," he said.

Earlier in the hearing, Teo denied knowledge of Ben's involvement in "Kilos Pronto," saying she is only aware of her brother's ties with the firm Bitag Media.

Erwin, meanwhile, clarified that he is a talent, not an employee, of Bitag Media.

It can be recalled that when the controversy on the tourism ad placement broke out, Ramon Tulfo, the eldest in the brood of 10, chastised his siblings Ben and Teo.

Ramon faulted Teo for allegedly failing "to get intelligent people as her staff" and dubbed Ben as the family's "black sheep," saying he has "middle child syndrome." 

Teo had resigned in May over the controversy.

Ben also insisted anew that he would not return the money from the advertising deal since doing so "is tantamount to saying we did something illegal."

"Wala ho sa isip ko magsasauli [ng pera] kasi wala akong ginawang ilegal," he said.

(It has not crossed my mind to return the money since I did not do anything illegal.)