Fact checks on public officials

FACT CHECK: Tulfo remains a sitting senator


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FACT CHECK: Tulfo remains a sitting senator
The Senate's list of members for the 19th Congress shows that Tulfo is still a senator

Claim: Senator Raffy Tulfo has resigned from his post.

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: The claim was made in a March 14 video uploaded by the YouTube channel “BANAT KAPANIG TV,” which Rappler had already fact-checked for spreading misleading content about public officials. 

The previous version of the video’s thumbnail showed photos of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Vice President Sara Duterte, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) General Manager Mel Robles, and Senator Tulfo holding a supposed resignation letter with the text, “Sa wakas nag resign na! Ito ang balitang tumapos kay Tulfo” (Finally he resigned! This is the news that ended Tulfo). 

It was also accompanied by a title that reads: “Kapapasok lang: Kumpermado nag-résígn si Tulfo PCSO kumanta bayàràn. Naungkat ang ebidensya VP Sara.” (Just in. Confirmed! Tulfo has resigned. PCSO spoke up about corruption. Evidence was unearthed VP Sara). 

As of writing, the video has 15,178 views, 257 likes, and 45 comments. 

The facts: Tulfo has not made any resignation announcements. He remains a senator and a member of the 19th Congress, as seen on the Senate’s official website

There are also no reports or official statements regarding the senator’s decision to resign from either the Senate of the Philippines or Tulfo’s verified Facebook page

Still in the Senate: Tulfo can still be seen attending recent Senate public hearings. He participated in the March 12 hearing of the committee on health and eemography, joint with tourism and finance, presided over by Senator Bong Go, where he raised worries over the reported high rate of workplace bullying among Filipino healthcare workers. 

He was also recently greeted by the official account of the Senate on his birthday on March 12. 

No evidence: The author did not provide evidence to support its claim. The post merely showed commentary from a vlogger who asked Tulfo about his next move following his revelations about alleged irregularities involving lotto winners.

In the original video uploaded on the YouTube channel Badong Aratiles Vlog, the narrator, urged Tulfo to demand for the resignation of those possibly involved in the PCSO anomalies, or at least be removed from their positions.  

The speaker also criticized Tulfo’s supposed “lack of authority” on the issue, and urged the senator to act on it as he did with the ongoing Senate inquiry on the alleged abuses involving doomsday preacher and Duterte ally Apollo Quiboloy. Tulfo has denied the reverse contempt order filed by Senator Robinhood Padilla to overturn the March 5 Senate ruling to hold Quiboloy in contempt.

The false video targeting Tulfo was uploaded months after the senator and Vice President Sara Duterte, who recently attended a pro-Quiboloy prayer rally at the Liwasang Bonifacio on March 12, emerged as the 2028 presidential front-runners, according to the January and February surveys by research firms WR Romero and Tangere.

PCSO irregularities: Tulfo, who chairs the Senate Committee on Games and Amusement, revealed in a March 12 interview on DZBB Super Radyo that a lone bettor won the lotto multiple times in just one month.

“Yung PCSO nagbigay ho sa akin ng listahan…ito nga po yung sinasabi ko medyo nakakataas ng kilay, mayroon doon na isang tao nanalo ng 20 times in one month. Mayroon dun 10 times in one month,” he said. (The PCSO gave me a list…this is what really caught my attention, that there was a bettor on the list who won 20 times in one month. There’s also one who won 10 times in one month.)

The state lottery agency issued a statement on March 13 in response to Tulfo’s claims, saying that the multiple wins under one name were not from jackpot games.

Previous fact checks: Rappler has debunked false claims related to the senator: 

– Larry Chavez/Rappler.com

Larry Chavez 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. You may also report dubious claims to the #FactsFirstPH tipline by messaging Rappler on Facebook or Newsbreak via Twitter direct message. You may also report through our Viber fact check chatbot. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.

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