THERE CAN be no excuse for Erwin Tulfo’s utter lack of ethics and scruples in publicly insulting Secretary Rolando Bautista simply for not being able to immediately answer his demand for an interview.
No, this has nothing to do with Bautista, for Tulfo’s fault would be no less grave had he spewed his venom on a street beggar.
We do not dispute Tulfo’s assertion that criticizing government officials is part of a journalist’s job. But the vitriol he heaped on Bautista clearly had nothing to do with whether or not the secretary was doing his job and everything to do with Tulfo’s exaggerated sense of entitlement.
The issue is Tulfo’s brand of “journalism,” and we are using the term very liberally since what he and his ilk practice bear little resemblance to the profession of truth, which, ironically, is what this administration seems to prefer even as it vilifies those who do their work seriously and credibly.
Indeed, the Tulfos of this world seem to have found the perfect niche within the infrastructure of a government that has established itself as the foremost purveyor of disinformation and has run roughshod over most, if not all, our people’s basic rights and liberties, although this particular Tulfo appears to have outshone the rest when even the director general of the Philippine Information Agency called him out for being “a pretentious and poisonous media personality whose only leverage is his last name and airtime in government radio.”
Let us see how this administration deals with the mess. But we do hope, whatever the outcome, that the media industry in general finally realizes that the revenues such unethical and irresponsible muckraking admittedly bring in can never compensate for the damage “journalists” like Erwin Tulfo have caused the profession and, most especially, the people whose lives and reputations they so cavalierly sully.
(Statement of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines dated June 3, 2019)