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Taguiwalo asks Duterte not legitimize baseless accusations against her giving 4Ps fund to NPA



Former Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo slammed the reports that President Rodrigo Duterte received that she used funds from the 4Ps program to finance the New People’s Army as “fake news.”

“For the record and for the President’s own awareness, not a single peso of the 4Ps program passed through my hands. The program funds are directly coursed through the LandBank and its conduits who then make direct payout to the Pantawid beneficiaries,” Taguiwalo said in a statement on August 29.

This was her response to Duterte’s remarks on August 28 that he received reports that Taguiwalo released funds from the 4Ps to the NPA.

“She was suspected by, hindi naman lahat, but people… na the bulk of the money went to, ditong Pantawid, naibigay doon sa mga — ako sinabi ko, naibigay sa mga NPA,” Duterte said.

Duterte also added that the basis of the reports may have been his “guidance” to Taguiwalo and the military to not be too strict in providing assistance to the poor 4Ps beneficiaries.

“Pagka pagkain, huwag mo nang pigilan ‘yan. Kung ang pera na binibigay ni Taguiwalo, para na rin sa mga mahirap, may mga hirap na NPA, may mga gutom rin na hindi NPA, mas marami kaysa NPA. Sabi ko, ‘Okay lang ako,'” said the President

“Kaso lang, baka naibili ng mga bala o armas, because of the pronouncement of Sison that they are expanding, that they are recruiting,” he added.


In her statement, Taguiwalo urged Duterte not to legitimize these baseless allegations against her.

“I have tried my best to ensure that the department fulfills its mandate of protecting and promoting the rights of the poor and to shield it from becoming an instrument of corruption and patronage,” she said.

“I have done my best as a member of the president’s Cabinet and his government and served the people with humility and full transparency. The least I asked of him is to not legitimize baseless accusations against me,” she added.

Taguiwalo noted that when she was appointed as to lead the Department of Social Welfare and Development, she declared that no new beneficiaries should be enrolled to the 4Ps except for the families of slain soldiers and wounded law enforcers.

“Had the president’s allies questioned me regarding this issue during the CA hearings—or even during the congressional deliberations on the 2018 budget—I would have given them answers that are easily verifiable,” the former secretary said.

“When I first arrived in the DSWD, among my first declarations and actions were to say that the 4Ps program would not be expanding. This means that the 4.4 million beneficiary-households of the program will not increase. These members are from the Listahanan of DSWD based on a nationwide assessment of the poor. The list was already in place when I became secretary,” she added.

In her interview on dzMM, Taguiwalo said the reports about her using DSWD funds to finance the NPA as fake news that probably started in social media.

“Kasinungalingan ‘yung report na ‘yan, kung saan man ‘yan nakuha ni President, na nagbibigay ang DSWD sa NPA,” she said. “Ang Land Bank po ang nagpe-pay out sa beneficiaries ng Pantawid. At ang beneficiaries na ‘yan, may listahan na yan na 4.4 million, na andiyan na yan nang dumating kami.”

“Social media na naman [galing ‘yan]. May nakita na ‘ko niyan noon na hindi ko na pinansin… Nagkaroon ng buhay ang kasinungalingan na sinimulan ng sinuman,” she added.

“‘Yung mga transaksiyon ho ng departamento, ma-o-audit ‘yan ng COA (Commission on Audit). Alam nila sa panahon ko sinikap kong maging transparent ang mga transaksiyon,” she further said.

After the Commission on Appointments rejected her appointment, Taguiwalo said that it was due to her opposition to the pork barrel.

“Within and outside the department, we stood up and said that public funds will be used for the public. It is difficult because it has been ingrained, not just today but even before in previous administrations, that the DSWD is being used as milking cow of politicians,” said Taguiwalo during her farewell ceremony on August 22.

“Mr. President, I kept faith with you. Nalulungkot lang ako kasi I don’t think you kept faith with me at the end. But, still, thank you for allowing me to serve the Filipino people as a member of your Cabinet, for showing the people, ang Kaliwa kaya maglingkod nang tapat at walang katiwalian,” she added.

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Netizens slam Duterte for saying women ‘could not stand threats and intimidation’



President Rodrigo Duterte drew flak for another controversial comment involving women after he remarked on May 24 that women “could not stand threats and intimidation.”

Duterte said that while he believed in women’s competence, it does not necessarily ring true in all aspects of life.

“I believe in the woman, the competence and capability, pero hindi lahat sa buhay dapat.Hindi ka, hindi, hindi. Dapat lang. It’s not appropriate when you cannot stand threats and intimidation,” he said in his May 24 speech.

He also said that women should be “prim and proper” and talked about his reservation in sending women police and soldiers to the field because unlike men, they did not grow up with a mindset that involves violence.

“Ang mga babae, sundalo pati pulis, ayaw ko ‘yan sa bukid. Unlike men kami, maliit pa lang, suntukan, bakbakan, barilan. And we grew up with a sort of a mindset na sometimes prone to violence. Itong mga babae, prim and proper man ‘yan, isang tingin lang sa nanay niyan, wala na tunaw na ‘yan. Tapos gawin mong pulis, ipaaway mo doon. Naku,” Duterte remarked.

Netizens then took to social media to react to Duterte’s most recent statements, making #BabaeAko trend again on Twitter.

“Mr. President, you just horrifyingly disrespected your own mother who bravely fought against the Marcos dictatorship. She withstood threats and intimidation. Siya ay babae! #BabaeAko,” a Twitter user remarked.

Forensic expert Dr. Raquel Fortun spoke out, too, saying “I am threatened and intimidated a lot. All my life. Don’t me. #BabaeAko.”

So did film and theater actress Chai Fonacier, who said, “Encouraging women — and I mean including those who identify as women — and our friends from the entire spectrum to share your #BabaeAko statements to fight the misogyny that the President and his ilk normalize through their behavior. Make them remember the feminine strength.”

KABATAAN Partylist Rep. Sarah Elago also reacted, saying she refused to be stereotyped.

Former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay urged other Filipinos to protest against Duterte’s misogynistic statements.

Other Twitter users weighed in on the issue.

Duterte’s previous misogynistic remarks


His remarks in his speech on May 24 seemed to have sought to explain another controversial remark he made on May 16 when he said that he did not want a politician, especially a woman, to become the next Ombudsman.

“Mag-nominate sila, pero I choose, but gusto ko ‘yung bilib ang tao sa integrity niya. Of course it could not be a politician, lalo na hindi babae,” he said during a chance interview.

This gave birth to the launching of the #BabaeAko movement on social media on May 21 by women activists and other people who also want to protest Duterte’s misogynistic and sexist statements.

One of  the women who joined the #BabaeAko campaign was former Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo who said, “Akala ko taumbayan ang boss ni Duterte. Yun pala sina Marcos, Gloria, Trump at China. Para sa bayang makatarungan at malaya, lalaban ako.”

In February, he was also slammed for telling his audience of former NPA rebels that he told his soldiers to shoot female rebels in the vagina.

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New DOT chief to ask Montano why he rushed official New York engagement to watch Broadway show



Newly installed Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said she plans on talking with Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) COO Cesar Montano to ask for his side on certain accusations that were hurled against him.

Among these accusations came from an Abante report where Montano was said to have rushed a speaking engagement staged by the DOT in New York to watch the Broadway musical show “Hamilton.”

DOT reportedly launched the Philippine Tourism Presentation and Dinner Reception on May 9 to showcase Philippine tourism and fashion at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York. Montano was introduced as the event’s keynote speaker, but he was said to have only spoken for a bit before hurriedly leaving the venue, disappointing the guests, which also included US officials.

Montano was said to have been invited to the event in behalf of the now-resigned Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo. He was also named as one of the two hosts, the other being Teo, of the said event.

In reaction to this report about Montano, Puyat said she would talk to Montano as well as the Tourism attache and other DOT officials who attended the event to verify the accusation in the report mentioned above.


Puyat said that she would investigate into the “Buhay Carinderia” program that the TPB is set to implement. This was after Philippine Star Boo Chanco accused Montano of issuing P80-million worth of three checks to the event proponent and organizer.

“I still don’t have the papers. I will be asking [and] will be arranging a meeting with Mr. Cesar Montano to ask about ‘yung mga nabasa ko sa ‘Buhay Carinderia’ – kung totoo ba na walang bidding ‘yung P80 million na advance,” Puyat said on May 15.

“I’m planning to talk to him and ask his side. I want to ask all those who were there if it actually happened,” Puyat added.

In March 2017, TPB employees filed a complaint against Montano for his alleged corruption and mismanagement of the agency. These include hiring friends and relatives, using TPB’s funds for personal trips, and showing incompetence in fulfilling his obligations as the agency’s COO.

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Eldest Tulfo vows to help Wanda clear her name, berates ‘black sheep’ Ben over controversial P60-M DOT ad deal



Inquirer columnist Ramon Tulfo spoke up about the controversy involving his siblings, now resigned Tourism Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo and hosts Ben and Erwin Tulfo, over the P60 million tourism ad deal.

The eldest Tulfo wrote in his Inquirer column on May 10 that while President Rodrigo Duterte himself advised the Tulfo family to avoid talking to the media, he took it upon himself as the family’s acting patriarch to tell the story behind the controversy.

First up, Ramon blamed Teo for not hiring smart staff members who could have advised her against inking a deal with PTV 4, where one of the Tulfo brothers, Ben, was a blocktimer.

As a blocktimer, Ben pays for his TV show’s airtime on the state-run channel.

According to Ramon, Wanda was only complying with President Duterte’s injunction for his Cabinet secretaries to support PTV 4, adding that she did not know Ben’s company would get most of the multimillion advertising contract with DOT.

He also hit Ben, whom he called a “black sheep” with a “middle child” syndrome as the fifth child out of 10 siblings, for signing the P60-million advertising contract with PTV 4 despite knowing that there would be a conflict of interest on Wanda’s part.

Ramon also said that Wanda still tried to save Ben, who insisted on his innocence amid the controversy, leading her to resign from her post. He also explained that Wanda seemed to have forgotten the fact that her husband was on the board of director of the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (Tieza), a part of DOT, when Duterte appointed her as tourism chief. He added that it should have been up to her husband to step down from his post upon his wife’s appointment.


In the same column, he also slammed Wanda’s lawyer, Ferdinand Topacio, whom he said did not even consult the Tulfo brothers on returning the P60-million funds from the ad deal. He also described the lawyer as “all talk,” a counsel who’s only focused on gaining publicity for himself.

Unlike what has been previously reported about Wanda resigning out of delicadeza amid the controversy, Ramon let it slip that he commended President Duterte for “sacking Wanda,” prompting some people to ask whether Wanda was fired instead of resigned.

Before he ended his column, he vowed to support “Wanda’s fight to clear her name, but not Ben’s.”
Wanda resigned on May 8 to show delicadeza and to spare everyone, especially Duterte, from the pain caused by the controversy, according to her lawyer.

The issue started with the Commission on Audit’s report showing the DOT paying P60 million worth of commercials to PTV 4, which in turn, tapped Ben’s Bitag Media Unlimited Inc. to air the tourism ads during Ben and Erwin’s show “Kilos Pronto.”

Malacañang said that Teo’s resignation does not mean that she is off the hook since the Ombudsman is still looking into her and other government officials involved in the controversial ad deal.

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