MANILA, PHILIPPINES — On December 27, 2022, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. temporarily appointed Edu Punay as the Officer-In-Charge (OIC) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) due to Secretary Erwin Tulfo’s citizenship issue.
Edu Punay, an ex-journalist from the Philippine Star, was delegated to lead DSWD since the current secretary’s citizenship is under scrutiny by the Commission on Appointments. In addition to his citizenship issues, Tulfo was also questioned regarding his previous libel convictions.
The Commission on Appointments demanded documentary proof from Secretary Erwin Tulfo to confirm that he is no longer a US citizen. Tulfo acquired US citizenship in the late 1980s and renounced his citizenship this year.
The appointment of Edu Punay as OIC was said to be a necessary measure to ensure that DSWD continues to operate during the absence of Secretary Erwin Tulfo.
Tulfo has yet to release a statement regarding the issue.
CA calls out Erwin Tulfo’s citizenship
The Commission on Appointments (CA) has bypassed Erwin Tulfo for the second time over his citizenship issues.
Senate President Miguel “Migz” Zubiri stated they are giving Secretary Tulfo more leeway as he recalled the same case that Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. encountered.
During the first hearing of Tulfo’s citizenship issue, Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel supported the former, stating that he saw no reason for the CA to deny Tulfo’s appointment as DSWD secretary.
According to Pimentel, even the US government implied to have rejected Tulfo’s claim he became a US citizen. Pimentel added that if he had been a member of the Commission on Appointments, he would have found Tulfo’s citizenship a non-issue.
The senator reminded lawmakers that citizenship is a state decision. Thus, they will have to wait for the US government’s statement to move the issue. – WhatALife!/Vaughn