Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea has filed a libel complaint against columnist and broadcast personality Ramon Tulfo over “malicious accusations” in an article published in the Manila Times.
The confirmation came after Medialdea sent a letter dated July 26 to the Manila Times editorial board, saying Tulfo’s column was meant to discredit him.
“I would have urged Tulfo to observe responsible journalism, but that might prove to be a futile exercise. I chose to be quiet in all his backhanded accusations and malicious articles against me, and let my lawyer just file the appropriate libel case against him for a libelous article he previously wrote in this newspaper,” Medialdea said.
In his column, Tulfo claimed that a certain Felicito Mejorado told him he has not yet received P272.07 million in reward money owed to him by the government for his tip on a smuggling operation in Mariveles, Bataan, in 1997.
Mejorado came to Tulfo’s office in Pasig City last week to ask for help because his reward has been supposedly pending with Medialdea’s office for one year, according to the column.
“Why is the office of Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea withholding the release of P272.07 million of a cash reward owed a government informer?” Tulfo wrote in his column titled “Self-purgation should start with the Cabinet.”
Medialdea said: “Tulfo seemed to have maliciously omitted a very important fact,” citing Mejorado’s claim for cash reward has been denied by the Department of Finance’s Committee on Rewards.
The Executive Secretary said the appeal has not been pending with the Office of the President for a year but only for three months, contrary to the article.
Medialdea said the OP received Mejorada’s Notice of Appeal on April 5 this year, which the office acted on appeal and asked the DOF to forward all records related to his case.
Mejorado claimed a certain Vianney D. Garol, supposedly a presidential consultant asked for P72 million for the release of the reward, and that this money was for Medialdea.
The Executive Secretary denied that he knows Garol.
Medialdea said he had already requested the National Bureau of Investigation “to verify the involvement of Garol and Princess Nicole Villareal in an apparent ‘fixing’ operation.”
He also said he asked the Department of Justice to file the necessary criminal charges against Garol for representing herself as a presidential consultant, for possible violations of the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007, and other relevant laws.
Last year, Tulfo also faced a libel complaint filed by the Iglesia Ni Cristo after he took a jab at the religious group for allegedly stockpiling firearms inside their compound.