Raffy Tulfo

FACT CHECK: Tulfo not suspended from Senate


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FACT CHECK: Tulfo not suspended from Senate
No reports or announcements confirm Senator Raffy Tulfo’s supposed suspension from office

Claim: Senator Raffy Tulfo was suspended from office. 

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: The video bearing the claim was posted by a YouTube channel with over 115,000  subscribers. As of writing, the video has garnered 23,452 views, 353 likes, and 76 comments. 

The title and thumbnail of the video bears the claim, with text on the thumbnail saying: “Tulfo suspended na” (Tulfo already suspended.)

The facts: Tulfo has not been suspended from office, and he remains a sitting senator. There are no reports or official announcements from Tulfo’s verified Facebook page or the Senate of the Philippines about any suspension order against him. 

The misleading video lacks any credible evidence to support its claim. It merely cited Tulfo’s proposal back in September 2023 to allocate confidential funds for the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) in the 2024 national budget. During budget deliberations, Tulfo, chair of the Senate’s migrant workers committee, proposed to allocate confidential funds of P20 million to P50 million for the DMW to curb the illegal recruitment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs)

The video’s narrator criticized Tulfo for the proposal, pointing out that the DMW itself was not requesting confidential funds. The narrator also claimed that this was Tulfo’s thinly veiled attempt to attack Vice President Sara Duterte and her bid to request P650 million in confidential funds, which she later dropped. During the hearing, Tulfo had said: “[‘Yung] iba nga diyan, daan-daang milyon, ‘di ako kumikibo. Kailangan siguro para maging patas tayo sa lahat, bigyan din natin ‘tong DMW.” 

(Others ask for hundreds of millions, and I haven’t said a thing. To be fair to everyone, we should also allocate some to the DMW.)

The misleading video was posted about a month after Duterte and Tulfo topped the list of presidential bets for the 2028 elections, according to research firm WR Numero’s “Philippine Public Opinion Monitor” released in January. The two were also the presidential front-runners in a Social Weather Stations survey conducted in April 2023.

Senate suspension: Article VI, Section 16 of the Philippine Constitution explains the process for disciplinary measures, including suspension and expulsion, that can be imposed on members of the Senate: “Each House may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly behavior, and with the concurrence of two-thirds of all its Members, suspend or expel a Member. A penalty of suspension, when imposed, shall not exceed sixty days.”

The Senate has the discretion to determine what constitutes disorderly behavior.

Active presence: Tulfo remains prominent as a senator and public figure. He participated in the Senate plenary session on February 21 and presided over a public hearing of the Games and Amusement subcommittee. He also continues to engage with the public through his regular radio and online programs “Raffy Tulfo in Action” and “Wanted sa Radyo.”

False claim: Rappler has debunked false claims related to the senator: 

– Marie Flor Cabarrubias/Rappler.com

Marie Flor Cabarrubias is a graduate of Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program. This fact check was reviewed by a member of Rappler’s research team and a senior editor. Learn more about Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program here.

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at factcheck@rappler.com. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.

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