San Simon, Pampanga—Television news anchor Erwin Tulfo will have his days in court answering criminal offense as seven counts of cyber-libel case were filed by a former councilman of this town who was mistakenly identified as “cruel Chinese owner of the Real Steel Corporation” in one of his social media posts.
Melchor Santillan Tayag, of Barangay San Agustin formally filed the charges before the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor at the City of San Fernando, saying Tulfo’s post in the social media on separate occasions had maligned “my good name as a former public servant and a private businessman.”
“I was described as a Chinese national in one of the social media posts with caption ‘Chinese national pinipilit ang mga empleyado magshabu, ginagawang target practice at binubugbog.’”stated Tayag in his complaint affidavit filed before the prosecutor’s office.
Tayag’s complaints were received by Associate Provincial Prosecutor and Investigating Prosecutor Chito Pantaleon late Tuesday afternoon.
This developed as Real Steel Corporation management was preparing separate multiple counts of cyber-libel against Tulfo and a certain Joey Gumana, the alleged source of information peddled to the news anchor.
Lawyer Jose Mari Lacas, legal counsel of RSC, said pieces of evidence had been gathered against the duo “who were responsible behind the lies and baseless accusations posted on social media against the steel manufacturing industry.”
“Tulfo’s multiple posts including maltreatment and other accusations against the owner of RSC have been found to be baseless and false,” said Lacas.
Tulfo, in his Sept 10 and 11 posts on Facebook, said some of the employees at RSC were being maltreated and were made as target practice by Chinese owner and forced to sniff shabu before reporting to work.
The TV anchor also said that RSC owner would be facing multiple criminal charges in court including human trafficking, violation of the immigration law and serious illegal detention as complained of by the workers who were prevented from going out of the steel factory for six months.
The regional office of the Department of Labor and Employment 3 backed by local police visited the RSC to check the condition of workers and investigate the allegations made by Tulfo on his social media page.
“The workers were not locked-up, they were not allowed to go out and accept visitors to protect them from the coronavirus,” said Director Maria Zenaida Angara Campita during phone interview, adding that RSC intention was good to avoid its employees from being infected by COVID.
Campita said the workers voluntarily resigned and were not rescued as earlier reported in other media outlet.
The local police also issued certification citing that RSC workers and their workplaces were drug-free.