Tulfo faces P20M libel suit for columns calling out BIR ‘corruption’
by Allan Yves Briones
Newspaper columnist and Malacanang’s special envoy to China Ramon “Mon” Tulfo is facing a P20 million libel suit from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Commissioner himself in the wake of several columns published in August
calling out the agency’s corruption.
In a press statement released Thursday, BIR Commissioner Caesar Dulay bared the effects Tulfo’s columns had on him and his agency.
“(The columns caused) enormous physical suffering, mental anguish, serious anxiety, besmirched reputation, wounded feelings, and social humiliation,” Dulay said, adding that Tulfo’s allegations also hurt the country’s biggest tax-collection agency.
Tulfo’s columns cited multiple times a conversation between Assistant Commissioner Teresita Angeles and Dulay’s chief of staff allegedly calling out corruption in the deals BIR had with Mighty Cigarettes and Del Monte Food Corporation.
Angeles has since published a column of her own denying Tulfo’s accusations, stating for the record that the conversation never happened.
In the face of this denial, according to Dulay, Tulfo continued to call him out as a “corrupt official.”
“The Tulfo column ‘My Line of Sight: Conversations between two BIR execs reveals all,’ contains malicious, sweeping and unfounded accusations to the effect that under my stewardship as BIR commissioner, there was rampant corruption and I have allegedly ‘skeletons in the closet at the graft-ridden agency,’” Dulay said.
Dulay has filed three counts of libel and seven counts of cyber libel with the Quezon City’s Prosecutor’s Office. He also asked the Bureau of Immigration to place Tulfo in the hold departure list to prevent him from flying abroad.
Also named in the complaint are Manila Times President Dante Ang II and several of the newspaper’s key officers and editors.