Duterte-allied party-list vows to be independent

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 23) — The party-list allied with President Rodrigo Duterte which topped the polls vowed that it would be independent in the House of Representatives.

ACT-CIS Rep.-elect Niña Taduran told CNN Philippines’ The Source that while they may support the Duterte administration, especially its hardline stance against crime, it also differs from it on certain issues.

Siyempre anti-drug campaign, anti-crime campaign, of course we are in support of the administration. Pero there are issues like, mayroon naman kaming independence like issues sa TRAIN Law, West Philippine Sea … May mga issues na medyo hindi kami sasangayon,” Taduran said Thursday.

[Translation: Of course we are in support of the administration on the anti-drug campaign and the anti-crime campaign. But there are issues where we maintain our independence, like on issues on the TRAIN Law and the West Philippine Sea … There are issues that we do not quite agree with.]

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Among the administration measures ACT-CIS supports is the revival of the death penalty for heinous crimes, including terrorism and plunder. Taduran said this is one of their priorities in Congress.

Tulfo magic

Taduran is one of three ACT-CIS nominees who will be heading to the House in the next Congress after the party-list clinched three seats in the elections. The two other nominees are Eric Go Yap and Jocelyn Tulfo, the sister-in-law of Ramon Tulfo, Duterte’s special envoy to China.

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Jocelyn is the wife of broadcaster Raffy Tulfo, who, along with his brother Erwin, heavily endorsed ACT-CIS.

Taduran admitted that ACT-CIS benefitted from “Tulfo Magic.” She added that her radio show with Raffy, Wanted sa Radyo, also contributed to their performance in the polls.

Erwin and Ben Tulfo were embroiled in a controversy over a ₱60-million ad placement of the Department of Tourism (DOT) on their show “Kilos Pronto,” which is a blocktimer on state-run PTV-4. The DOT was then-headed by their sister, Wanda Teo.

After Teo’s lawyer saying that Erwin and Ben will return the money, Ramon said in a column on the Philippine Daily Inquirer that the two would not be giving back what the DOT paid Ben’s production company Bitag Media Unlimited Inc., which produces Kilos Pronto.