Palace hands off Medialdea-Tulfo feud

MANILA MalacaAang is keeping its hands off Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea's libel complaint against Special Envoy for Public Diplomacy to China and columnist Ramon Tulfo.

Presidential Spokesperson and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo deferred to comment on the issue describing it as a personal feud between the two presidential appointees noting that charges have already been filed.

That's between the Executive Secretary and the journalist. That is personal between the two, so we will not interfere, Panelo said in a Palace briefing on Monday.

Since charges have been filed, we cannot comment on the validity of the charges. So, we will wait, he added.

The issue stemmed from a July 25 column in The Manila Times in which Tulfo accused Medialdea of sitting on an appeal by Felicito Mejorado for the claim of millions worth of reward money.

Mejorado had supposedly given the tip on a smuggling operation in Mariveles, Bataan in 1997.

Tulfo also accused Medialdea of asking for money for the release of the tip through a certain Vianney D. Garol.

Medialdea has denied the allegations saying the appeal has not been pending with the Office of the President (OP) for a year but only for three months. The OP received the appeal on April 5, 2019.

Medialdea said the OP has already acted on the appeal and has asked the Department of Finance, which had initially denied Mejorada's claim, to forward all records of the case.

The National Bureau of Investigation has also been asked to verify the involvement" of Garol and other personalities.

Medialdea said he never knew Garol. He noted that based on MalacaAang Records Office, Garol was appointed as project development officer II under the Office of External Affairs-Davao on August 1, 2005 but stopped operations on December 31, 2005.

He said the second libel complaint against Tulfo will be filed next week.

Medialdea first filed a libel complaint against Tulfo after the columnist accused him of being Sandra Cam's "benefactor." (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency