BACOLOD CITY – Broadcaster Ben Tulfo has invited Mayor Evelio Leonardia to a live studio interview in Manila over his television program but the chief executive declined it.
Through his lawyer.
And, lawyer Marvin Tañada, in a letter to Tulfo, “CEO” and “Journalist” of Bitag Multimedia Network, even pointed out that Tulfo does not “conduct interviews.”
What he does, Tañada said in his 12 December letter to Tulfo “…is look for people to bolster (his own) half-baked conclusions.”
“After that December 6 interview we are of the impression that you have your own rules of journalism, rules that even your fellow journalists, if you can be described as such, are embarassed about.”
Tulfo, in a letter to Leonardia 10 December, four days after the interview, offered to pay for transportation and accommodation expenses for a live studio guesting on 12 December or on a date of the mayor’s choosing.
The guesting, Tulfo said, is in the spirit of “balanced and responsible reporting.”
Tulfo, in his 6 December interview, said he knows Leonardia has nothing to do with the issue but insisted that the one involved is “your (Leonardia’s) councilor” and that the mayor can do more than just relaying the issue to Espino as “the father of the city” as the event was for “the people of Bacolod.”
Tulfo went on to tell Leonardia about the role of the media and told him to do something about the issue before “it blows up in your face” to which Leonardia said “thank you, Ben.”
At the end of the interview, Tulfo told Leonardia to “get out of my face.”
He also commented after the interview: kayong mga nasa Bacolod nakikita nyo ang mayor ninyo walang katorya torya baka dilawan pa ang putok sa buho na to (You in Bacolod can now see your mayor who is uninteresting, he might even be a Yellow supporter).”
Tañada said given the experience of Leonardia during Tulfo’s interview,” it is not a wise idea to have another of the same.”
As the cliche goes, Tañada pointed out, “once bitten, twice shy.”
Leonardia’s legal counsel pointed out again that the 26 October benefit game was not an official activity of the MassKara Festival but Tulfo keeps on insisting because “it is the only thread that will connect it to Mayor Leonardia.
Tañada added the match was clearly a private transaction between Councilor Al Victor Espino and Gene Padilla.
“Go dig the facts around them. Stop using Mayor Leonardia to boost the story’s news value,” Tañada said.