MY BIG MOUTH by Ramon Tulfo
There is no doubt about how controversial my ongoing issue with the PGH and its emergency room doctors have become.
Here are some matters I wish to point out.
First, I chose the Philippine General Hospital because it is one of the best trauma hospitals in the country.
I have donated to the hospital, I have helped patients, and I have sent those in need of medical care to its doors.
I did not expect special treatment, but I did expect a certain standard of reception, respect, and concern from the doctors and nurses.
In fact, a few other doctors who helped us out were very professional and knew how to instill confidence in their abilities as doctors.
Second, my outburst was one of pure concern for the child.
Even if one understood there was a system to determine which patient should be prioritized, would you accept that calmly, if you were really concerned for a person who is in your charge?
Talagang nataranta ako dahil nagsusuka ang bata noong papunta na kami sa ospital.
Sinabihan pa ako na ang importante ay hindi makatulog ang bata.
Nakita ko ang mga apo ko sa mukha ng bata.
Siyempre, talagang handa ako makipaglaban para sa bata!
Third, it is part of a doctor’s job to handle not only the patients, but also their loved ones or guardians.
A doctor should always address all parties respectfully, and with the confidence and understanding so that people on the other side of the desk can also remain calm.
I did not feel that at all during that fateful night.
Yes, the doctor in charge probably had a long shift, or had an eventful night.
But that does not excuse a doctor from respectfully engaging not only the patients, but their guardians and loved ones as well.
That is why I acted as I did. How can one not be frustrated?
The incident opened my eyes not only to the issues with doctors, but also to the healthcare system itself.
When we were there, there were patients sleeping on the sidewalks all around the emergency room entrance.
When we were there, patients lined the hallways.
Aside from the doctors, I feel that the government should give more funding to the whole healthcare system, particularly the hospitals and medical schools.
They should also give more classes in how to respectfully handle people, not just patients, if you know what I mean.
Now, for those who say that I should not have recorded the video, I will say this: As a journalist, it is my training to collect evidence, be it photographs, documents, or videos.
Remember, this is the age of social media; everyone who records events for posterity is a journalist.
It is my training as a member of the Fourth Estate, the Press, to make sure we have footage.
It is our job and duty to observe and to take note of all that happens.
Again, I would like to apologize to other patients who were disturbed.
As for all the offended doctors and other parties, rather than fighting me online, meet me in person, and let’s talk.
I am a direct man, and I am not one for pretty words.
I will listen to people who are willing to tell me what’s on their mind in person.
Who knows, we can even be friends.
If there are serious concerns about government medical facilities and personnel, then let us all be man enough to really sit down face-to-face.
Let us talk about how we can help healthcare in the Philippines.
When we talk about Philippine democracy, Ninoy Aquino’s assassination will somehow come up.
I’ve already written in my On Target column in the Inquirer that he could have masterminded his own murder, because he was already dying.
Ninoy was prophetic in his description of his supposed upcoming death, even predicting that his assassin would be shot in return.
He knew that his bulletproof jacket would be useless.
He knew he would be shot in the head.
Some people will probably ask, but Mon, how can that be? No one is that crazy!
Let me tell you, crazier things have been done in this world.
The reason why Ninoy was in the U.S.A. was that it was humanitarian gesture from Marcos, since he needed to have a complicated heart surgery to survive.
And if he stayed in another country, he would be a footnote in history
On the other hand, if he could die as the martyr, then his place in history would be secure.
Now, we all know of Ninoy’s bombastic, outspoken personality, because it is what put him in prison in the first place.
It is hard to imagine that he would have preferred a quiet death.
I would say that the right phrase for Ninoy, given all of what he said before he died, is that he knew too much about his own death.
In fact, he was preparing people to expect his death, like it was some spectacle.
It’s too convenient, and because of that, the idea of Ninoy orchestrating his own death could be an inconvenient truth.
If you think about it, it sounds more plausible than having premonitions and talking about how it would all be over in three to four minutes, as he said.
Some people say that he lost the game.
I propose that he won the game, by playing his cards in the way that most people will never expect.
It’s just like in chess.
Sometimes, the lowest piece, the pawn, can move forward and become a queen.
To do that, you sometimes have to sacrifice other more powerful pieces.
But when the pawn becomes the queen, the game really changes.
So, who killed Ninoy?
It may be that he won the game by killing himself.
Some people create more enemies than friends while in power. Photo from http://www.wikipedia.org.
In the past, whenever a new Pope was announced in the Roman Catholic Church, he was carried in a throne. through Saint Peter’s Basilica.
The procession would stop three times, and in each stop, a person would tell him, “Pater Sancte, sic transit gloria mundi,” or “Holy Father, so passes worldly glory.”
This was a reminder that all things in this life were temporary, including power and fame.
It is an important reminder for anyone in a prominent position in religion or politics.
The honor of serving others is given to those who are trusted by the people.
That is why votes are very important for democracy.
It shows how people trust that a person will act in their best interests.
It is also the reason power can be taken away once trust is lost.
Even if one holds on to the position, once the trust is lost, then the power will fade, the position lost.
That is why it is important not to abuse power, to respect it and treat it as a tool given to help others.
Our politicians and government officials should always keep in mind that they are the ones we have entrusted with power.
Many of them should not be too attached to it, and remember that it is temporary.
What is more important is that they should do the best they can for the people.
The words of my friend, Ric Lim, who has since passed over, keeps ringing in my ears as if he said them only minutes ago: “When you’re in power, cultivate many friends and try to make no enemies.”
Otherwise, karma will dictate how things will happen, and it can be very cruel.
Perhaps the only thing that will last longer than power is a good name, a good reputation.
Speaking of power and all things being temporary, the internet is a place where everything recorded seems to have a permanent place.
It is very disappointing to see video recordings where police officers abuse their power repeatedly.
How can we trust officers of the law, if they are the ones we are afraid of, for all the wrong reasons?
These officers are wasting the goodwill and trust of the people.
If they have broken the law, then they should be disciplined, charged, or fired. And if they resist arrest, kill them.
If we want to build a better future, then all these problems should be addressed.
This is why I am happy that Police Chief Superintendent, acting chief of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), Guillermo Lorenzo “Guilor” Eleazar is there to teach these erring officers a lesson.
His record of accomplishment since his assumption of office on June 4, 2018, shows a man who is willing to clean house, to restore the reputation of the Philippine National Police.
He needs our support, because we need more men like him in service of the law.
Our vision of a just and fair society deserves to be permanent, not something that will fade away.
The Angono Municipal Police Station’s Facebook account recently published a post that had ten points on how women can avoid rape.
It was no surprise that Gabriela and other famous people known for their support of women’s rights would condemn such a list. It included admonitions against drinking while on a date, and wearing short skirts.
Days later, the police apologized for the anti-rape reminder, due to pressure from outside groups.
I have read the anti-rape list, and I only have one problem with it. A woman should have the freedom to wear skimpy attire, but she should be aware of her surroundings. Kahit pekpek shorts pa iyan, basta alisto siya, pwede iyan.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind if rapists are given the death sentence. But as a father, I think the list is practical.
Image from http://preen.inquirer.net/78837/this-police-station-in-angono-rizal-just-gave-helpful-tips-to-avoid-rape
I feel that the advice given on the anti-rape list is not only practical, but well-meaning. It could have been written better, surely.
Gabriela could have done better as part of the process, instead of attacking it. It’s easier for them to come up with a well-written set of rules. They could have written one list for women, and one for men.
It was such a missed opportunity.
As for the Angono police, sad to say, mukhang wala silang bayag. They had an opportunity to explain themselves and stand their ground.
They meant well, but they needed a better-written list. They wasted their chance to make it better by caving in, and apologizing. Worse, they removed the list.
This situation exposes the weaknesses of both. The police should be more careful about how they approach sensitive issues. But they should also remember that they are there to enforce the law and protect the people.
If they did their jobs well, the anti-rape list wouldn’t even be needed.
Gabriela, on the other hand, should think about offering solutions without being too aggressive. Huwag masyadong papansin, gawin na lang ng tama ang trabaho para matulungan ang lahat ng kababaihan.
Naiintindihan ko ang mga hinanakit ng kababaihan. If you don’t believe me, you can ask my staff of “angels” at Isumbong Mo Kay Tulfo. We have been handling rape complaints for many years.
Again, this was a wasted opportunity to properly educate and help the Filipino people.
And to be honest, it’s not always so clear. For example, we had a complainant, a wife. Hinalay daw siya ng tatlong security guard, matapos siyang lasingin ng mga ito.
Ang tanong: bakit siya nakipag inuman kasama ang tatlong lalaki na hindi niya kamag-anak? Alalahanin, may asawa pa siya.
Another news item I remember involved a woman who was the “asawa ng bayan” in her city in Mindanao, and it turns out she was fooling around with some American sailors. She was wearing tight-fitting jeans – hard to remove! A condom, too, was used. How can a rapist use a condom? That takes time to put on!
The US sailor was eventually acquitted by the Court of Appeals, after the “victim” retracted her complaint. It turned out, she just wanted to be an American citizen.
All I can say is, we should always think before we judge people.
Pumunta ang isang babae sa isang bahay upang maningil ng pagkakautang ng may-ari ng bahay sa kanya, nang ni-raid ng mga pulis ang nasabing bahay dahil pugad pala ito ng mga drug pusher.
Kahit anong tanggi ng babae na wala siyang kinalaman sa iligal na droga, isinama pa rin siya ng mga pulis at kinasuhan.
A team of policemen and soldiers from the Task Force Habagat of the Presidential Anti-Crime Commission (PACC) raided a house in Quezon City that served as a hideout of the notorious Kuratong Baleleng holdup gang in the 1990s.
The policemen and soldiers herded all the house occupants into a van, and along Commonwealth Avenue fired hundreds of rounds into the vehicle, killing all the van's passengers on the spot.
Isa sa mga nasalvage ay lalaking teenager na bagong salta sa Maynila upang mamasukan bilang houseboy sa bahay na ni-raid. Wala siyang kaalam-alam sa ginagawa ng kanyang mga kasamahan sa bahay na mga holdaper pala ng mga bangko.
Ako, si Raffy at si Erwin ay mahahalintulad doon sa babae at lalaking teenager who were at the wrong places at the wrong times.
Nagkataon lang na ang apelyido namin ay Tulfo.
I built and nurtured the Tulfo name over the years as a hard-hitting, no-nonsense journalist. I have managed to keep my nose clean.
Isa-isang dumating ang aking mga kapatid galing ng America. Nauna si Erwin, pagkatapos ay si Raffy at nahuli si Ben. Lahat sila ay nagsunuran sa akin sa journalism.
Sumikat silang lahat dahil sa ipinakitang tapang nila sa pamamahayag. Namana namin siguro ang tapang sa aming ama na isang combat veteran sa Bataan, Sulu, Lanao at Cotabato.
Ginaya ni Raffy at lalo na si Ben ang aking style sa pagtutuligsa sa mga abusado sa gobierno at lipunan. Hinigitan pa ako nga ni Ben sa katapangan na parang wala siyang kamatayan.
Bagay kay Ben Tulfo ang magtapang-tapangan dahil siya'y naiiba sa magkakapatid. Siya'y masasabi na isang black sheep sa pamilya.
Likas na mahiyain kaming magkakapatid, pero iba si Ben. Magaling siyang magsalita. Matamis ang kanyang dila. Puede nga niyang ipagbili ang Jones Bridge at Malakanyang sa mga taong bano.
Ngayong nasasangkot si Ben at ang isa kong kapatid na si Wanda Teo sa isang iskandalo sa pera, pati kami na mga walang ka alam-alam ay nadadamay.
Nang sinabi kagabi ng presidential spokesman na si Harry Roque na inatasan na raw ng Pangulo ang mga Tulfo brothers na isauli ang perang kinuha ni Ben at Wanda sa gobierno, tumawag ako kay Roque.
Ito ang sinabi ko kay Roque sa telepono, if memory serves: "Harry, unfair namang idamay mo kaming lahat diyan, lalo na ako. Nasaktan naman si Raffy a Erwin sa sinabi mo. Bakit di mo na lang sabihin na si Ben ang may kagagawan? O si Wanda?"
Ang kasalanan lang ni Wanda ay siya'y tanga at nagpadala sa mga sales talk ni Ben. Ang buong akala ni Wanda ay mapupunta ang pera sa PTV-4 bilang commercials ng Department of Tourism, at hindi kay Ben at kanyang mga kasabwat na mga opisyal ng PTV-4.
Isa pang mali ni Wanda ay kunin ang isang abogado bilang kanyang spokesman at legal counsel na pulpol.
Meron naman kaming magaling at Bar topnotcher na kamag-anak na si Alexander Aguirre (No. 11 sa 1974 Bar Exams), pero kinuha pa ni Wanda ang isang pulpol na magaling lang sa dakdak pero walang sense ang sinasabi.
Ang abogadong ito ang nagsabi sa media na isasauli ng mga Tulfo brothers ang pera.
Buang ba siya? Bakit ko isasauli ang perang di ko naman kinuha?
The surprise inclusion of brothers Jinggoy Estrada and JV Ejercito in the "Magic 12" (Jinggoy at 5-12 and JV at 6-13) in the latest Pulse Asia survey for "senatoriables" is due to their father Erap's unsinkable popularity.
Erap is a living icon and legend and the only one who can match or surpass his charisma with the masses is Digong Duterte.
I've known Erap for many years, our friendship dating back to the martial law era. He was and still is my drinking buddy.
I'll tell you an anecdote about Erap which shows why he is a natural or one who holds no pretentiousness.
Ladies, gentlemen, and children, the following story is definitely R-rated. Ladies, you have been warned. Children in the audience need an adult present for permission to read on.
Ita-Taglish ko ang anecdote upang mas may impact sa ating mga Pinoy.
One night when he was still a senator, inimbita ko si Erap sa Impierno Disco, isang girlie bar along Mabini St., Ermita, Manila some time in 1990. If memory serves, kasama namin si Tony Gana, one of Erap's closest friends at the time.
At Impierno, which was near the defunct Ambassador Hotel, the girls performing on stage danced naked.
Nasa table kami na nakadikit sa mahabang stage kung saan pumaparada ang mga babaeng hubo't hubad.
Tandang-tanda ko pa, like it happened only yesterday: We were already tipsy when we came to Impierno and were taken to the choice table.
While we were having Erap's former favorite whiskey, Old Parr, the girl on stage noticed Erap.
The girl's stage name was Jollibee, tall and slim and pretty. Malago ang kanyang bulbol. I'd never seen such bushy pubic hair before.
Pagtapat sa table namin, binunot ni Jollibee ang kanyang bulbol, yumuko ng konti at ibinudbud ang mga ito sa baso ni Erap.
Everybody inside the bar was stunned!
You know what Erap did? He drank from the glass full of the girl's pubic hair.
That brought the house down.
Nakita ko si Erap spitting out some of the hairs and those he could not spit out he picked with his fingers from his tongue.
And then he refilled his glass with more whiskey.
The scene was repeated. Jollibee again pulled out her bulbol and ibinudbod uli sa baso ni Erap.
Again, Erap drank it and repeated the process of getting rid of the bulbol.
Again, an uproar from fellow customers!
There and then I realized Joseph Ejercito Estrada, aka Erap, would handily win if he ran for president, which was still years away.
Pulse Asia Research, Inc., has just come out today with their latest survey for the May 2019 Senatorial Elections. It is the big buzz in the local online world.
I was surprised that my name was in the seventeenth place. The survey showed that although only 81% of those interviewed were aware of me as a possible senatorial candidate, 27.1% said they would vote for me.
That put me in the 14 to 21 rank, within striking distance of the Circle of 12.
I am flattered, but I have no interest in entering politics. It is good to know that many people trust my good name.
But what is in a name?
Names have a certain power. This is very true in politics, where big names are the ones we remember.
Info graphics from Pulse Asia Reasearch, Inc.
Jinggoy Estrada and JV Ejercito are those who carry the name of Joseph "Erap" Estrada in the Senate.
Jinggoy introduced the Batas Kasambahay, which promoted standards, privileges, and rights for domestic workers. JV, on the other hand, was one of the authors of the Free Higher Education for All Act.
Even if they walk in the halls of power, they still carry with them the streetwise charisma that is the hallmark of the Estrada name.
The tale of the tape in the Pulse Asia Survey says it all. The Estradas are the ones to beat.
It is the same for Grace Poe, who carries the name of the great Fernando Poe, Jr. She is currently at the top of the survey.
Grace is known for her very active participation in various committees.
Her star power is inherited from her legendary father, FPJ.
Sara Duterte is also one of the names to beat. She is not only the President's Daughter, she is the first woman mayor of Davao.
Her fearlessness is no surprise. She is, after all, a Duterte.
These are the persons and names who are big in the survey, and with good reason. Their popularity is a testament to their influence and their values.
Again, thank you all for your trust in me. Let us all work together and help each other.
Remember, if you're in trouble, Isumbong mo kay Tulfo!
Pepsi Paloma, dancer and actress, was found hanging in her apartment.
It was May 31, 1985. Her rape case and death have become urban legends.
Her diary entries about her family and financial woes described more immediate problems. However, these diary entries were quickly dismissed.
Conspiracy theories sounded much better.
Alfie Anido was a matinee idol. He shot himself in the head in the early hours of Dec. 31, 1981. Articles at the time said that his girlfriend had just broken up with him.
There were also reports that he had hit his girlfriend. That was why she broke up with him.
However, it made for better headlines if there were problems with the girlfriend's family.
Fake news has been around for as long as newspapers have been in print. For example, the New York Sun claimed in 1835 that bat-like men and goat-like beasts with blue skin lived on the moon.
People bought the papers, because it was sensational. It was hard to confirm the story, since the observer was located in South Africa. It was not true, of course.
Later, newspapers would start reporting real news. Stories about criminal cases had to be factual. Soon all stories reported in newspapers had to have facts, unless they were the fiction pages.
The online world, however, has changed who makes the news. In the past, journalists in newspapers, radio stations, and TV channels were the gatekeepers.
Now, anyone with internet access can make their own website. They can claim that made up their stories are true. As long as it sounds right for some people, it can be seen as true.
I have said before that the online world has democratized journalism. However, we also have to be careful, since anyone can now hide behind an alias and claim anything.
Online journalists need "likes" and "views" for their business. This means that they can create fake news, without thinking of the harm they do.
We should be more careful about what we read.
Kaya ang fake news, huwag tularan. Maaaring nakamamatay.
Today, we celebrate National Social Media Day. The holiday was founded in 2010, by a website known as Mashable.com. It celebrates how important social media has become.
I worked in radio stations, newspapers, and television stations. In fact, my show, Isumbong Mo Kay Tulfo, is an industry pioneer and mainstay for public service shows with an investigative touch.
I didn’t think much of social media. It was through the efforts of my loved ones and my dedicated staff that I realized how important social media could be.
Isumbong Mo Kay Tulfo already had its own Facebook page. I then decided it was time to join the online world. Now, I have my own Facebook and Twitter accounts.
I think that social media will supplant other media in ten years. Newspapers, radio, and television news shows and outfits will need their own social media platforms.
Social media has made journalists of everyone. It has democratized journalism. Everybody is now a journalist in his or her own right.
Social media, like current journalism, is subject to abuse, fake news, and other similar problems. Because of this, it is important that veteran journalists should adapt to the new world of social media.
I see it as a way to reach out and help more people. I see it as a way to share my thoughts, unfiltered.
It is a new way to communicate with what is now a global community.
It is the future of news media.
I said before that this old dog is learning new tricks. I realize now that I am not that old yet, and I have many more tricks to learn in this online world.
Mabuhay tayong lahat, and let us all celebrate National Social Media Day.
Romeo Maganto, a bemedalled policeman, was laid to rest yesterday, Sunday, June 24.
Maganto, one of the very few police generals who neither graduated from the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) nor the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA), was admired by millions for his raw courage.
His courage bordered on foolhardiness or stupidity.
His fellow officers, who were PMAers or PNPAers, laughed at or mocked him for his foolhardiness.
But he always got the job done. In places where he was assigned, peace and order became the norm. He cleaned up Ilocos Norte, fighting the New People’s Army (NPA) when he was the PNP provincial director there.
Maganto, who had retired, died of natural causes.
Romy Maganto was a relatively honest cop. Relatively, hindi garapal. By the way, wala namang pulis na santo.
Romy, you deserve a lasting rest in peace.