Senator-elect Tulfo: I will not swear in any party

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PASAY, PHILIPPINES - 2022/05/18: Senator Raffy Tulfo delivers a speech during a media press conference at the Philippine International Convention Center. Some newly-elected Philippine senators give their views and opinions regarding the incoming new government of President-elect Ferdinand
PASAY, PHILIPPINES - 2022/05/18: Senator Raffy Tulfo delivers a speech during a media press conference at the Philippine International Convention Center. Some newly-elected Philippine senators give their views and opinions regarding the incoming new government of President-elect Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. and share their insights as they start to work in the senate. (Photo by Josefiel Rivera/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Broadcast journalist and senator-elect Rafael “Raffy” Tulfo vowed to be independent of any political party, this after he announced his intent to join the majority party in the incoming 19th Congress.

Independent pa rin ako, hanggang sa matapos ang aking term. Hindi ako magswear-in sa kahit anong party, because ang loyalty ko in the first place ay sa mga taong bumoto sakin. (I will remain independent until I finish my term. I will not swear in any political party, because my loyalty is reserved to those who voted for me),” the popular radio program host said in an interview.

A first-time candidate, the broadcast journalist ran as an independent candidate in the recently concluded 2022 national elections, where he won with the 3rd highest amount of votes in the senate race.

Tulfo also signified his intent to join the majority bloc in the senate to have a greater platform to pass his proposed laws, but clarified that he will still object to legislation that he disagrees with. He, however, stated that he would not “criticize.”

As senator, Tulfo said that he will prioritize legislation concerning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and local workers but emphasized that his core advocacy will be about the rights of media workers.

To protect media workers, the senator-elect said that he will push for the decriminalization of libel and the magna carta for media workers. On May 18, senator-elect Raffy’s older brother Ramon Tulfo was arrested for cyber libel.

Last week, Tulfo made headlines as he disagreed with the administration’s move to shutdown broadcasting giant ABS-CBN, but stated that settlements should be resolved if there are any. The broadcast journalist shared that the past few years have made him see “injustices” in media networks, prompting him to work towards legislation that would favor media workers instead of network executives.

Basti Evangelista is a news and opinion writer who focuses on Philippine national politics and sectoral issues. His personal advocacy includes press freedom and social justice.

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