A petitioner who claims to be the legal wife of broadcaster and senatorial aspirant Raffy Tulfo wants the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to nullify his candidacy for the 2022 polls, based on a copy of the petition obtained by Rappler on Thursday, November 18.
Julieta Licup Pearson, among other things, alleged that there was misrepresentation in Tulfo’s certificate of candidacy (COC) when he did not indicate her as his spouse.
She insisted that she and Tulfo were married in October 1982 in Capaz, Tarlac, with the marriage supposedly never nullified.
“This misrepresentation in his certificate of candidacy was done by him fully aware that he is not legally married to his declared wife in the COC, Jocelyn Pua Tulfo,” the petition dated October 25 read. Jocelyn is currently a party-list representative in the House.
The petition also took note of the bigamy case filed against Tulfo before the Office of the Prosecutor in 2019, and claimed that it was being reviewed by the Department of Justice.
On his TV show in 2019, Tulfo admitted that he had a child with Pearson.
“Noong ako po ay isa pa lang struggling broadcaster o naghihikahos na mamamahayag, maraming taon nang nakararaan, I reached out to my daughter with her, at nagkita po kami ng aking anak sa kanya at ako po’y nagbigay ng tulong pinansiyal at mga regalo,” he had said.
(When I was a struggling broadcaster many years ago, I reached out to my daughter with her, and I gave her financial assistance and gifts.)
But Tulfo had called the bigamy case filed against him “plain and simple extortion,” alleging that Pearson demanded P25 million from him so that she and her new family could live a comfortable life.
The same petition filed before the Comelec also accused Tulfo of failing to properly indicate in his candidacy papers his supposed existing criminal complaints, and the correct number of years he lived in the Philippines.
Comelec spokesman James Jimenez confirmed on Thursday the existence of such a petition against the broadcaster.
Rappler has sent a text message to Tulfo for his statement. This story will be updated once he replies.
Tulfo is deemed as an election frontrunner, topping senatorial surveys if the vote were held today.
He rose to fame because of his so-called “vigilante journalism,” as he invites aggrieved Filipinos to appear on his show and tries to resolve their problems, from extramarital affairs to alleged government abuse.
While he has attracted scrutiny among media scholars for his brand of journalism, he and his brothers remain to be popular among Filipinos who do not trust the Philippines’ justice system. – Rappler.com