Tulfo in the ‘second disaster’ after ‘Pablo’

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This refers to Ramon Tulfo’s Dec. 18 column titled “Illegal logging exposé touches a raw nerve” (Inquirer, 12/18/12). In that column he claims that his exposé on the people behind illegal logging was such a “bombshell” that it made him unpopular among his friends and relatives. To boost his claim, he cited comments made by his relatives, including the text message sent to him by his sister describing Davao Oriental Gov. Corazon Malanyaon, one of the public officials he accused of involvement in illegal logging, as having been “devastated” by the exposé. This is not true. I would like to correct this impression.

The confluence of events in the aftermath of Typhoon “Pablo” has given the governor, barely, the luxury of time to express her feelings. The demands of the situation for food, water, medicines and shelter are so overwhelming that one is left with no choice but to work to be able to help, help and help. The loss of life, property and livelihood is unimaginable. The suffering etched in the faces of the survivors pricks you endlessly like no other. And then come the finger-pointing, the accusation, the apathy and indifference among us, all these have brought us to a “second disaster,” a disaster worse than the one Pablo wreaked upon us.

Human as we are, we look for answers and we ask, “Why Lord?” The poor governor kept her feelings to herself, until she could take it no more. Human as she is, these pent-up emotions had to find their way out. I called her up when I learned she was in town purposely to praise her for a very good job in responding to the situation in her province. With a hoarse and rundown voice, she shared her experiences, the pains and hurts as she went about addressing the call of the situation. Yes, she cried, but not because of the “exposé.” Yes, she may have questioned her faith out of desperation, but not because of the exposé. Seemingly, Tulfo believes otherwise.

And how did Tulfo arrive at a conclusion that his exposé was such a “bombshell” it touched a raw nerve in the governor? A text message from a sister which he took as truth hook, line and sinker. Besides, I’m surprised why a very personal communication landed in his column. Such impropriety does not speak well of a journalist who claims he is a “professional.”

The exposé of Tulfo, which is part of the second disaster, hurt and angered the governor as it was uncalled for at a time when the survivors of Pablo needed every piece of bread there was. “Devastated” by the exposé? That’s far from the truth. There’s so much work to do, so many people to help. This is the time for us to work together. To use former Sen. Ernesto Maceda’s phrase, Governor Malanyaon has been doing a “heroic job,” responding to the demands of the situation.

Let’s do our part. This is the time to help. Perhaps it would be good for Tulfo to read Ecclesiastes 3:1-8.

—PILAR R. ORINGO,

pilaroringo@yahoo.com

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