MANILA, Philippines – Nearly a month after Erwin Tulfo’s unexplained exit from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said on Monday, January 23, that he hopes to keep the broadcaster in his administration.
In late December, the Palace’s messaging arm announced that Undersecretary Edu Punay would take over as Office-in-Charge of the department, without explaining where Tulfo was heading. Queries from the media then were also left unanswered.
This was the first time for Marcos to talk about Tulfo’s situation after his sudden exit, which came after he failed to hurdle the powerful Commission on Appointments (CA).
It was his second time to be bypassed by the CA – the first, because there was not enough time. Back then, most of the Cabinet had been left unconfirmed by the time session was suspended, so they were considered bypassed and the President had to reappoint them.
But the second CA bypass came after he admitted in a public hearing that while in the US, he was “working with the US Department of Defense.” He was asked to confirm if he renounced his Philippine citizenship when he served in the US Army from 1988 to 1992. Tulfo did not answer the question directly and asked for an executive or closed-door session. CA members also quized Tulfo over his libel case, and later decided to defer his appointment.
“Whatever we say… difficulties that he faced with the Committee on Appointments, in the CA, he – the time that he was running the DSWD, he did a very good job. So, we can’t lose that kind of… that kind of asset. So, we’ll find something that he can do so we could take advantage of his good instincts when it comes to social service,” said Marcos, when asked if Tulfo would stay in his administration.
The President also clarified that Tulfo would not be appointed a presidential adviser, contrary to rumors. He has yet to name a full-time replacement for Tulfo in the DSWD. – Rappler.com