"My brothers and I end up as mediators between conflicting parties in all sorts of disputes."
Few people know about this government entity called the Office for Alternative Dispute Resolution (OADR), an attached agency of the Department of Justice (DOJ).
I’m not sure if, as the name suggests, it is the same office where the trial courts direct opposing parties to for obligatory mediation where some lawyer serve as go-between for them to settle their dispute out of court.
With the help of an OADR mediator, conflicting sides are able to resolve their differences and desist from further court proceedings.
It goes without saying that the OADR, for what it’s worth, has a noble mandate that necessitates it to self-promote to justify its bureaucratic existence.
And, this is just a good time to stay or at least to be perceived relevant as an attached agency to the DOJ which now enjoys high-respectability under Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra.
Last Wednesday, however, an official of the OADR “warned” the public against approaching public service-oriented television programs, like those run by the Tulfo brothers, to resolve their disputes.
The OADR official, Atty. Irene P. De Torres-Alogoc, was apparently grandstanding at the expense of yours truly and my brothers.
Alogoc conveniently urged people to come to the OADR offices instead to seek assistance and resolution.
This did not quite sit well with Rep. Eric Yap who has known us since he was a youngster in Davao City.
The ACT-CIS Party-list representative said the OADR official’s statement was out of line and shamelessly “OA.”
Rep. Yap said, while parties in court disputes are obliged by judges to go through mediation, it is simply unreasonable for Alogoc to discourage the public to go to radio and TV programs for help.
“The Tulfo brothers are not competing or taking away the work of government agencies. In fact, they facilitate seeking assistance from DOLE, DSWD, DFA, PNP, and DOJ,” he pointed out.
Such public service-oriented radio-TV programs have been around since the 1960s, and the Tulfo brothers have dedicated themselves to such advocacy for over 35 years with Manong Mon Tulfo pioneering it with his show, “Isumbong mo kay Tulfo.”
When the rest of us came – Raffy (Wanted sa Radyo/TV), Ben (Bitag), and yours truly (Tutok Erwin Tulfo) – our fellow Filipinos from all walks of life have turned to us like it’s a natural phenomenon, where the aggrieved look for his Big Brother for a helping hand.
We believe it is our calling to extend assistance to victims of injustice just by being the voice so they can be heard by concerned authorities.
We found ways to provide medical assistance and relief goods to those experiencing extreme poverty with the help of our civic-minded groups and friends like Rep. Yap.
Yes, we end up as mediators between conflicting parties in all sorts of disputes which somehow reach the respective offices of the Tulfo brothers and, more often than not, issues are resolved without lawyers involved.
My dedicated staff and I have been serving the public day in and day out at the Erwin Tulfo Public Assistance and Media Center for the past 35 years.
We do not count and do not even maintain a logbook for the people who have come to us for help for which we never expect anything in return.