A viral video showed a Batangueño calling out radio personality Erwin Tulfo after he lambasted them for leaving the horses following the mandated evacuation of areas nearby the active Taal Volcano.
Facebook user Roel Orso shared three clips that showed locals ferrying a horse in a boat and then cleaning it up after it was retrieved.
One of the locals mentioned Tulfo’s name and called him out for harshly criticizing them after reports of horses being left behind following the Sunday eruption emerged.
“Tulfo! Ito na ang sinasabi mong pinabayaan namin! Sinasabi mo na pinabayaan namin ang aming mga kabayo!” the local said while he cleaned up the horse.
“Ako po ang tunay na Pilipino! Hindi si Tulfo! Dahil… sa dada, ala gawa… bakit, anong akala niya sa kabayo, bata na basta papasanin? ‘Di naman ah! Kabayo ‘yan! Hindi ‘yan dada-lawang kilo! Hindi ‘yan sampung kilo, mag-isip-isip! Naturingan man kayong may pinag-aralan, sa taas! Pero kami mababa lang,” he continued.
The Batangueño earned admiration from some Filipinos who noted that the situation “speaks a lot about social realities.”
“Farmers are forced (to) make tough choices. They left their livelihood to save themselves, and they did not want their animals to die, no one did. It’s not their fault,” Twitter user @CalvsAlmazan wrote.
Another Filipino laid out possible circumstances as to why locals were forced to initially leave the animals after Sunday’s eruption.
“Mr. Erwin Tulfo, first of all, you are not on the situation, you don’t know what’s currently happening during that time. You don’t know how Batangueños are afraid, panicking on how they are going to survive from that calamity. Of course, they need to save their lives first before anything else,” user @mykelsense wrote.
“It was really hard for them to leave their pets, their horses. Plus, the fact that the government officials (prioritize) the people of Batangas. Right after the day of explosion, some people came back to their places to check their pets, to save them,” he continued.
“But the fact that horses are big, cows and carabaos, dogs and cats, and other pets are big and (there is) not enough transportation to evacuate, it was not easy for them to save them immediately. Other officials like PAWS and other organizations affiliated with animals had their actions to save those pets and animals as much as possible,” the user added.
In his radio station, Tulfo slammed the Batangueños and called them derogatory names like “kumag” and “putragis na may ari.” He also threatened to tie them if he was in Batangas during the eruption.
The video seemed to be deleted from his YouTube and Facebook pages already, but some social media users were able to save a recording of it.
Ps: (Hindi po para sa pag trending) Sir hindi naman po nila ginusto yung nangyari, grabe naman po kayo mag salita sa kanila, taga talisay po ako at kitang kitang po namin ang sitwasyon nila, kung may sapat lang po sana kagamitan baka po pati alangang hayop kasama sa pag likas.😊 pic.twitter.com/K2BybopsDd
— Ambe (@anjivercaringal) January 14, 2020
Sinagot na at supalpal si Erwin Tulfo ng Batangueño Tungkol sa pinabayaang mga Kabayo sa Tagaytay ./ Tapusin panoorin ang video /#pagsabugngBulkangtaal #batangasprovinceVideo CTTO.
Posted by Mark Stephen Godes on Wednesday, January 15, 2020
The radio personality was soon criticized online for his remarks against Batangueños, with some Filipinos defending the locals who were forced to flee from the volcano’s currently life-threatening situation.
A Facebook user was also able to save a clip of him apologizing to the Batangueños following the online ruckus.
“Ako po ay humihingi po ng paumanhin sa mga nasaktan ho sa mga nasabi ko, sa mga nabitiwan ko pong pananalita. Ako po ay humihingi po ng sorry sa inyo,” Tulfo said.
He added that he got emotional since he reportedly saw a video of an ash-filled horse who was not able to move, as well as a horse that he thought was tied.
“Pasensya na ho, sir. Tao lamang ho. Ako’y humihingi ng paumanhin ho sa mga naapektuhan, sa mga hindi po nagustuhan yung sinabi ko. Pasensya na ho, ‘yun po ay bugso ng damdamin,” Tulfo continued.
Mabuti naman at nag public apology kana Erwin Tulfo dahil kung hindi baka icomplain kita kay Idol Raffy! 🤦🏻♀️
Posted by Leahmay Barairo Barairo on Wednesday, January 15, 2020
Save the animals
In the early days of the week, organizations for animals and other concerned Filipinos were reported to be rescuing animals that were left in cages and houses.
The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals-Asia said that it had waited for the local authorities to allow them to save the animals trapped on the island post-eruption.
The Philippine Animal Welfare Society also joined rescue efforts and asked for the public to donate food and water for the abandoned animals.
The organization also reported that only 30 out of 3,000 horses in Taal were retrieved as of Tuesday night.
Mark Timbal, the spokesperson of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, said that the rescuers were supposed to come back for the animals following the evacuation.
However, the heightened activity of the volcano had prevented them from doing so.
“The animals are too big or too heavy for the boats, so the human beings were the first ones to be evacuated and the animals are the ones next in line,” Timbal said, as quoted by reports.
“But when the rescuers are supposed to return, the escalation of the volcanic activity prevented them from doing so,” he added.
“We were informed during the aerial inspection that both flora and fauna on the volcanic island are already dead. So there would be no reason for rescuers to return,” Timbal continued.
Horses are used in Taal Volcano treks where it would ferry tourists to the crater rim viewpoint through black sandy trails and let them have a view of the crater lake and Vulcan Point, as well as other surrounding mountains.