Benilde student writes open letter to Mon Tulfo

A student of the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde wrote an open letter addressed to Mon Tulfo criticizing the columnist and his article about the alleged prevalence of drugs at CSB.

In his write-up published Tuesday on, Tulfo said he learned from his daughter and some of her classmates that "prohibited drugs are sold by some CSB students on and off campus." His daughter, the columnist shared, "admitted to her mom that she had taken Valium," which she and her classmates "bought from a fellow CSB student."

The story has since gone viral on social media. To rebuke it, netizen Stephanie Jaurigue, whose Facebook profile shows that she studies AB Consular and Diplomatic affairs at CSB, posted a note on the social networking site.

It reads:

An Open Letter to Mr. Ramon Tulfo | Re: Article about the "Prevalence of Drugs in CSB" in Inquirer

Dear Mr. Tulfo,

I read your article about De La Salle - College of Saint Benilde in Inquirer; and I believe that there are some misconceptions that have to be cleared out regarding the issue. I have some questions for you as well.

(Here's a link to the article:

First of all, the title of your article "Drugs prevalent at College of Saint Benilde", is misconstrued because it purports the idea that drugs are being used inside the campus. It also suggests that the school is involved with the selling and using of drugs by its students, where in fact, it is not the case. As you have mentioned yourself in your article, your daughter bought the drug (Valium) she used outside of the school premises. And I quote, "Upon further questioning, we learned that my daughter frequented three coffee shops near De la Salle University and CSB where students from both schools hang out. The coffee shops are Beach, Barn and Plato where students buy drugs from fellow students and other pushers." Seeing as that these three establishments are not inside the premises of Benilde, it is wrong to say that drugs are prevalent in-campus. Just because these three bars (and they are bars Sir, not coffee shops) are in proximity to CSB, that does not mean that they are in any way affiliated with CSB. Your article's title is, in more ways than one, wrong.

Secondly, using drugs is an individual's choice. It is no way dictated by an institution such as a school. It was your daughter's choice to use drugs. So why would you blame CSB for what your daughter has chosen to do? Why taint the reputation of a good institution? Didn't you think of this before you wrote your article? (A very haphazard one, if I may add.)

Third, the teaching of values don't come from schools alone. Parents play a more important part in making sure that their children grow up to be morally upright individuals. Before you started blaming CSB, did you take a second to introspect and think about the fact that maybe, just maybe, you're the one to blame in this issue? Didn't you also think that publishing that article will damage your daughter's reputation in ways you can't imagine? What's wrong with sitting her down and talking to her first before shouting out to the online community about what she did?

Fourth, your statement, "I learned that the students who push drugs at CSB are scions of rich or influential families.", is a hasty generalization. Where did you "learn" this piece of information? (If we could call it information, that is.) Blurting out unsupported claims like these is an insult to the journalism community of the Philippines. Isn't it that you are an advocate of truthful and accurate journalism Mr. Tulfo? Please try to practice what you preach.

Lastly, you stated that, "Based on the reception they gave me yesterday, it seems College of St. Benilde officials are not concerned about the welfare of their students.", just because some of the school's officials weren't able to meet with you regarding your concern, that does not mean that they are not concerned about the welfare of the students. These two things do not correlate. You yourself should know that when you are someone from the higher parts of an institutional hierarchy, it's hard to break from your tight schedule and meet people on short notice. Also, maybe you assumed that they would give you special attention or treatment in addressing your concern because you have a name in your chosen industry. I am sorry but that was not the case.

To sum it all up Mr. Tulfo, I believe that you could have done a better job in writing a news article for the Inquirer. As far as I'm concerned, that piece of writing was more of a family issue rather than a news story. Please do not treat a newspaper website as your personal diary. Also, before you write a news article, please make sure you have accurate information seeing as that the reputation and credibility of certain institutions are sometimes at stake. (Do I really need to remind you of this? You're a journalist right? You of all people, should know this.) As far as I know, a lot of people from the masses look up to you because they see you as a credible source of news and information, and even if you deliver with haphazardly written articles like this, they would still believe you and accept what you wrote as truth. Can't you consider that fact and not break the people's trust in you as a journalist?


Stephanie Jaurigue

As of this posting, Tulfo has not yet responded to Jaurigue's open letter.