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Rafael "Raffy" Teshiba Tulfo (1960–) is a Filipino politician, journalist, television and internet personality who is best known for his weekday radio programme Wanted sa Radyo on Radyo5 92.3 News FM as well as the Raffy Tulfo in Action YouTube channel, both focusing on public affairs and issues concerning the poor and marginalised. He, along with his brothers Erwin and Mon, became known for their "action-based" brand of public service, often if not always directly intervening in issues with indigent Filipinos.
In a series of videos, Tulfo made claims about the supposed benefits of ivermectin and Lianhua Qingwen as a cheaper alternative to evidence-based medicine such as remdesivir for COVID-19, lamenting about how the Department of Health (through its Food and Drug Administration, formerly known as the Bureau of Food and Drugs (BFAD)), is supposedly trying to profit from the pandemic by prioritizing antiviral drugs sold at extortionate prices over "cures" which can be afforded by the masses, in spite of scientific studies and experts debunking their supposed efficacy against COVID and/or its symptoms. While he may have brought up the stark fact that yes, hospitals and other healthcare facilities are indeed filled to the brim with COVID patients, using what amounts to off-label veterinary medicine or traditional Chinese medicine of unproven efficacy without resorting to peer-reviewed evidence, and arguing that "but no one died from trying it, right?", not to mention arguing against the necessity of vaccinations due to said alternative cures, is not only deceitful but also reckless and dangerous.
On public service
Tulfo has earned a reputation for his so-called "action-based" public service where he and his team directly intervene with disputes involving indigent individuals, families and/or groups. Sure, he earned plaudits from the Filipino mainstream, or in local parlance, the "masa", and thus has a large following on social media, but deep behind this is a business that is cynically exploiting the woes of the poor for YouTube clout and ad revenue both from his videos and the sale of branded merchandise. Tulfo argued that his programmes have helped enact swift justice especially considering the state of the judiciary in the Philippines; Ranny Randolf B. Libayan, a lawyer who runs a full-service law firm in the country who later gained prominence on YouTube as a staunch critic of Tulfo, pointed out flaws in his system, however, calling out the journalist for his arrogance and what is essentially a glorified form of vigilantism, bypassing due process and conditioning viewers to trust in his programme, thus garnering a larger viewership. Similar concerns were brought regarding demonization, public humiliation and trial by publicity with those involved, one such case was of a schoolteacher whom Tulfo humiliated in a video, prompting her to quit her job, not to mention cashing in on recent scandals such as the death of cabin crew member Christine Dacera, who was found dead at a hotel room after a New Year's Day party in 2021 and became an instant gossip fodder, no thanks to one of the suspects being the son of late singer Claire dela Fuente.
His credibility has also been questioned due to a number of libel suits ascribed to him, such as in 2003 when a foreign exchange dealer named Michael Guy filed a libel suit against him when Guy was accused by Tulfo of seeking protection from tax fraud prosecution. Tulfo was forced to admit that he got the information from "reliable sources" i.e. hearsay. Libel counts as a "crime of moral turpitude" in Philippine law, which is grounds for electoral disqualification, yet it hasn't stopped Tulfo from running for a senatorial position in 2022.
- ↑ Duque At Domingo, Hinagupit! by Raffy Tulfo (Apr 3, 2021) YouTube.
- ↑ Real Doctor debunks Tulfo + Ivermectin by Doc Adam (Apr 9, 2021) YouTube.
- ↑ "How Covid Misinformation Created a Run on Animal Medicine". by Erin Woo (September 28, 2021) New York Times.
- ↑ Domanais, J., Dorado, J., & Peñaflor, A. J. (2019). YouTube Statistics: A Look at Its Effect on YouTube’s Digital Marketing.
- ↑ ONE News - Raffy Tulfo addresses 'Tulfo justice system' criticism
- ↑ Broadcaster Raffy Tulfo joins 2022 Senate race
- ↑ @Raffy Tulfo in Action vs. Supreme Court/ Judiciary by Ranny Randolf B. Libayan (Jun 5, 2021) YouTube.
- ↑ Raffy Tulfo In Action Is Not Court of Justice But A Business (June 6, 2021) Pinoy Stack.
- ↑ The Tulfos are the face of Philippine Justice, and that should bother us by Gian Lao (Nov 10 2019) ABS-CBN.
- ↑ Raffy Tulfo criticized for making teacher quit job by Jan Milo Severo (November 22, 2019 | 2:44pm) Philstar Global.
- ↑ TULFO MEMES: Memes About Raffy Tulfo's Attack Against Teacher
- ↑ Panayam Ni Idol Raffy Sa Best Friend Ni Christine Dacera by Raffy Tulfo (Jan 7, 2021) YouTube.
- ↑ Isumbong mo si Tulfo (Nov 17, 2021 7:56 PM PHT) Rappler.