The Tulfos, T3 and judgment day

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The Tulfo brothers hijack Monday's news to defend their older brother and threaten Raymart Santiago and Claudine Baretto

MANILA, Philippines – TV5 may have delivered a first on national television Monday, May 7, when it lent its stage to the second act of the Tulfo showdown, although it has yet to be established if there is a precedent for station employees issuing threats of bodily harm using language ripped from the filmography of Fernando Poe Jr.

After the airport fistfight Sunday between commentator and Philippine Daily Inquirer columnist Ramon Tulfo and actor-couple Raymart Santiago and Claudine Baretto, the brothers Tulfo ranged themselves behind their embattled older brother in a show of unity, hijacking the Monday early evening airwaves to let rip a string of threats.

Three of the tough-talking Tulfo brothers host T3, described by the station’s website as “a program that promises to deliver quick action to people’s everyday concerns” showcasing the Tulfos “[distinct] brand of public service.”

Each brother takes on a different area of injustice. “Ben exposes all forms of fraud and scam; Raffy takes on abusive cops and local officials; and Erwin addresses citizen complaints against poor services and government inaction.” The show’s goal also attempts to sharpen the Tulfo brand, “with hard-hitting yet compassionate segments” that “shows both the rough and soft sides of the Tulfos.”

On Monday’s show, Ben Tulfo and his sunglasses led the charge against Santiago, and began with a disclaimer. He acknowledged that others might think they are using their TV5 program, he promised the family would not interview anyone involved, including their brother Mon, as they do not want an interview of a fellow Tulfo by a Tulfo on a Tulfo issue.

This behavior, he says, is called “propriety.”

Listen to what I am about to say, he said. “Read my lips.” Hindi pa tayo tapos.

Pray, hijo de PI, pray we never meet

Raffy Tulfo took over. “Raymart,” he said, “Raymart—uh—Baretto.”

You’re lucky that there were many of you, he said, and that my brother was alone. But I’m still very proud of my brother that he managed to get his punches in. If it were my brother and you fighting one-on-one, says Raffy Tulfo, your ass may very well be in your mouth now. You’d be broken into pieces now. Everyone knows he’s a martial arts expert, even in Aikido. You all just got lucky there were many of you. He would have taken you one on one.

Raffy stumbled on the delivery, but compensated with one finger thrusting against the camera and Raymart Santiago’s imagined face.

Let’s hope we never meet in a mall, he said. Pray, hijo-de-PI, that we never meet in a mall. Pray for that, light a candle now, and pray now we will never cross paths. You PI.

And your little wife too

Erwin Tulfo was calmer, even amused at the gall of Raymart Santiago, and punctuated his comments with amused snickering.

I can say only one thing to Raymart Santiago and Claudine Baretto, he said.

You just happened to catch my brother alone. If we were in the same flight yesterday that, wouldn’t have happened. My being there could have led to only one of two results. I would be speaking from jail now, or I would be speaking from here on interview.

But this is my only message to you, Mr. Santiago, Ms. Baretto. The two of you are liars. Ask anyone in the airport, the people are laughing, because my brother did not throw the first punch. It is not in the character of a Tulfo to hurt a woman.

He reminded the Santiago-Baretto couple that they have seen each other in airports.

Pray, he said. My advice to you and your wife, don’t leave home. Because if we see each other in NAIA Terminal 1, Terminal 2, Terminal 3, you will get it from me, and I don’t care, even your wife will get it from me. You better pray our fates never cross.

Let’s see what you’re made of

Ben Tulfo had more words, and may have borrowed them from Zoren Legaspi.

Raymart, he said, I tell you one thing. I go up against criminals and killers, and you are a decent man. But if you want a big closed warehouse, ambulances waiting outside, we will see who remains the last man standing when we close the doors, we’ll see what you’re made of.

And so the brothers ended with a last threat in lieu of the show’s extro. Erwin Tulfo took the cue.

Hindi pa tayo tapos, Raymart, hindi pa tapos. Hindi pa tapos. Antabayanan mo. Antabayanan ang lintik na ganti ng Tulfo.  

The next act

The Tulfos’ Monday night performance is an expected one, and perhaps necessary for the men whose reputations are built on swearwords, motorcycles and libel cases. To have the baddest of the Tulfos beaten to the ground through the combined efforts a hair-pulling woman, a former actor, and a man wearing a pink shirt may be too much for the Tulfo reputation, especially since said Tulfo is the man who claimed to be a master of martial arts.

In an interview with GMA7’s Mike Enriquez, Mon Tulfo admitted it is the first time in his life he has been aggravated this way. Asked by Enriquez’ co-anchor Mel Tiangco, Tulfo admitted his ego was affected by the incident.

Although Raymart Santiago is yet to comment on the alleged terrible vengeance of the Tulfo brothers, it may be too early to write him off. The star of Iskalawag: Ang Batas ay Batas (1997) may not have the Tulfo’s primetime platform, but he appears to have a case for criminal charges of grave threats—and thousands of witnesses provided by the brothers Tulfo themselves.

Click on the links below to read about the Ramon Tulfo – Raymart Santiago airport scuffle.

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