Raffy Tulfo is a veteran broadcast journalist, commentator and multi-media personality whose public service programs on radio, television and YouTube garner millions of listeners and subscribers and billions of views. He and his brothers, Ramon, Ben and Erwin, have courted both fame and controversy with what critics and other media practitioners have referred to as their vigilante style of journalism.
Tulfo’s most successful public service shows, Wanted sa Radyo and Idol in Action) are centered on directly engaging with listeners and viewers, providing an informal venue for lodging complaints and nudging “follow-up” action on previous reports, connecting help-seeking callers both with government agencies or private entities and mediating relationship squabbles.
He has been convicted on six counts of libel over his articles on Abante Tonite.
This is Tulfo’s first bid for public office. His wife, Jocelyn Pua Tulfo, was elected to represent the Anti-Crime and Terrorism Community Involvement and Support or ACT-CIS Party-List in 2019. His brother Erwin Tulfo is also running as first nominee of ACT-CIS in 2022. ACT-CIS, which topped the party-list race in 2019, was organized to support President Duterte’s anti-crime platform. Their sister, Wanda Corazon Tulfo-Teo, was tourism secretary since 2016 when she and brothers Ben and Erwin were involved in a P60-million conflict of interest scandal relating to DOT advertisements placements in Ben Tulfo’s shows on PTV4; she denied the allegations but resigned in 2018. Ramon Tulfo was appointed special envoy for public diplomacy to China in October 2018, re-appointed for another six months in May 2019 and was reportedly unsure of the status of his post since his appointment lapsed but had not been revoked.
In November 2021, a woman claiming to be his legal wife, Julieta Licup Pearson, filed a petition to nullify Tulfo’s candidacy based on misdeclarations in his certificate of candidacy and a bigamy case filed against Tulfo before the Office of the Prosecutor in 2019 and allegedly pending review by the Department of Justice. Tulfo had earlier admitted that he had a child with Pearson but claimed that the bigamy case was filed merely to extort money from him.
Tulfo says he is seeking a Senate seat to fix the “broken system in government” that he claims makes his shows a necessity for ordinary Filipinos. Drawing from the problems raised on his show’s action center, he cites three areas he will prioritize – overseas Filipino workers, labor and family.
“Ang sinabi ni dating Pangulong Ramon Magsaysay, ‘He who was less in life should have more in law.’ Ibig sabihin, ang mga kapus-palad nating mga kababayan, dapat kailangan ng mas sapat na proteksyon sa ating batas, at ‘yan ang isang dahilan kung bakit ako nandito ngayon sa harap ninyo.”
RAFAEL “RAFFY” TESHIBA TULFO
Full Name: Rafael Teshiba Tulfo
Nickname: “Idol Raffy”
Birthday: March 12, 1960 (Age 63)
Birthplace: Davao City, Davao
Residence: Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila
Languages Spoken: Filipino, English, Bisaya, Chabacano
– Ramon Silvestre Tulfo Sr. (1915-1985; 60), father
– Caridad Alvar Teshiba-Tulfo (1925; 97), mother
– *Raffy Tulfo is the eighth child among 10 siblings
– Ramon “Mon” Teshiba Tulfo, TV host, radio broadcaster and columnist
– Bienvenido “Ben” Teshiba Tulfo, TV/radio personality
– Erwin Teshiba Tulfo, TV/radio news anchor and broadcaster
– Wanda Corazon Tulfo-Teo, Department of Tourism Secretary (2016-2018)
– Jocelyn Pua Tulfo, ACT-CIS Partylist Representative, 2019-present
– Married (1982); Julieta Nacpil Licup (a.k.a. Julieta Licup Pearson)
– Grendy Licup Tulfo (daughter with Julieta Licup Pearson)
Children with Jocelyn Tulfo:
– Maricel Tulfo, segment host of Idol in Action
– Ralph Tulfo
Says he did not finish college, no publicly available information on his high school education
- Broadcast Journalist
- Host and anchor of numerous public service programs
- TV Personality Columnist
Tulfo started his broadcast journalism career in the early 1990s, including his long-running radio show, Wanted sa Radyo. Since then, he has amassed a faithful following on both traditional and online media platforms, in which the tough-talking host hears out aggrieved callers and gets in touch with the subjects of their complaints.
His shows have been criticized for encouraging outbursts and accusations, ambushing the subject of the complaints and casting hasty and unverified imputations against them. Tulfo defends his style of direct engagement with both his audience and targets as an informal but necessary venue for the poor and powerless, pointing out that his callers either do not have the resources to seek justice or assistance, or have exhausted ordinary courses of remedy.
He has also written columns for widely circulated tabloid newspapers, Abante Tonite, Abanta and Pinoy Parazzi, providing commentary on political and social issues.
While gaining fans and some awards for his work, Tulfo has also faced controversies and legal challenges. In May 2012, the show he hosted with brothers Ben and Raffy, T3, was suspended for 20 days by the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board over remarks and insults made by them against celebrity spouses Raymart Santiago and Claudine Barretto following an airport altercation with other brother Ramon Tulfo. The incident also caused the spouses to file complaints for grave threats and seek a protection order; the complaints were later dropped and the petition for a writ of amparo denied.
Tulfo also found legal trouble from his writing; he was sued for libel for articles he wrote for Abante Tonite. He was convicted in one set of cases, acquitted in another.