DSWD SECRETARY Erwin Tulfo assists President Marcos in relief assistance distribution in Cavite as Sen Ramon Revilla Jr., Rep. Jolo Revilla and Gov. Jonvic Remulla look on in this file photo
PASAY CITY — The appointment of Social Welfare and Development Secretary Erwin Tulfo is under question before the Commission on Appointments following the discovery that he was an American citizen, had served the United States Army for several years and has 10 children from at least four different women.
Also, he was found to have been convicted for libel, which makes him disqualified from holding public office, according to House Deputy Speaker Rodante Marcoleta.
Due to the issues, the CA deferred last month Tulfo’s confirmation.
Informed of the CA decision, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. reportedly asked Tulfo, younger brother of Sen. Rafael Raffy Tulfo, to continue working, indicating that he will be re-appointed to the post, and may have to face the CA again.
During the CA hearing, Tulfo did not answer the question if he is an American citizen, but admitted after the hearing to reporters that became US citizen since the 1980s and revealed he renounced his US citizenship this year reportedly to be able to qualify for the position as Cabinet member of President Marcos Jr.
Caloocan First District Rep. Oscar Malapitan also asked Tulfo about his US Army service from 1988 to 1992 and assignment in Europe from 1992 to 1996.
The questions on Tulfo’s personal and professional life which were unearthed during the CA hearing prompted the DSWD official to request an executive session to discuss the lawmakers’ inquiries.
Tulfo’s appointment was not tackled by the CA when it was first calendared before it went on a month-long break last September.
Surigao del Norte Second District Rep. Johnny Pimentel inquired about Tulfo’s personal life, particularly his “10 children from several women.”
“I suppose you had a very colorful love life and there were four women or the mothers?” Pimentel asked as ABS-CBN reported.
Tulfo answered yes. He added: “We’ve separated. Yes, we are in good terms. We are in talking terms, including all my children. Some of them are in the United States, and some are here.”
Pimentel then asked if “meeting women” would distract Tulfo in his work at DSWD, ABS-CBN reported.
“Considering that in your line of work, the moment you are the Secretary of DSWD, I suppose you will be meeting a lot of women in your work. Hindi po ba magiging sagabal sa trabaho mo yun na marami kang makikitang babae?” Pimentel asked.
Tulfo admitted his mistakes and said he has already learned his lesson and now “look differently at life.” (Jennifer T. Santos)