House to reprimand Bertiz for NAIA terminal tantrum
MANILA, Philippines—The House of Representatives on Wednesday voted in favor of a motion to reprimand Rep. Aniceto “John” Bertiz III (ACTS-OFW Party-list) over misconduct at the airport.
It was House Minority Leader Danilo Suarez (Quezon) who moved for Bertiz to be reprimanded over the incident caught on video where he was seen not following the Ninoy Aquino International Airport’s security protocols and intimidating airport security personnel.
Suarez said the airport incident was Bertiz’s first offense and pointed out that the lawmaker has already “admitted his mistake and has profusely apologized for his conduct.”
“The punishment should be commensurate to the act,” Suarez said.
A source of The STAR earlier said the sanction for Bertiz’s tantrum could range from a “reminder, a reprimand to suspension.”
The House and the Senate have the sole power to discipline one of their own. The chambers rarely do.
The House voted 159-1 with three abstentions in favor of the motion to punish Bertiz with a reprimand.
Prior to the nominal voting for the motion for reprimand, Bertiz delivered a privilege speech and apologized for his misbehavior.
Bertiz said he expected fairness from his colleagues in dealing with his airport misconduct.
“Naiintindihan ko po, at buong puso ko pong tinatanggap ang aking mga pagkakamali. Patawarin po ninyo ako,” Bertiz said.
(I understand and whole-heartedly admit to my mistakes. Please forgive me.)
“Patawad po dahil bilang isang lingkod-bayan, hindi ako naging ehemplo ng tuwid at magandang asal,” he added.
(Forgive me that, as a public servant, I was not an example of good behavior)
Bertiz claims children receiving threats
The lawmaker, who has been the butt of jokes and online commentary since the incident, called on the public to stop involving his family in the controversy. He said that his children are receiving threats and are being attacked online.
“Ako ay pulitiko, isang public figure, at nagkamali ako. Obligasyon at karapatan po ninyo na ako ay tuligsain. At ano man ang nais na parusa mula sa inyo, aking mga kasama, upang ituwid ang pagkakamaling iyon ay maluwag ko pong tatanggapin,” the solon said.
(I am a politician, a public figure, and I made a mistake. It is your obligation and right to criticize me. I will willingly accept any penalty form you, my colleagues, to right that wrong)
“Isa lamang po ang aking pakiusap, sa mga naririto at sa lahat ng ating mga kababayan: Ako ang parusahan ninyo, huwag na po ang aking pamilya. Ang aking asawa at mga anak, wala po silang kinalaman dito. You cannot even imagine what I and my family have to go through. Do what you want to me, but please spare my family,” he added.
(I have just one request. To thise who are here, and to all my countrymen: Punish me but not my family. My wife and my children have nothing to do with this.)
Migrante files ethics complaint
Last week, migrant workers’ group Migrante International filed an ethics complaint against Bertiz for his alleged misconduct. The complaint was filed before the House of Representatives and was supported by Makabayan bloc.
In a press conference, the two groups also presented an overseas Filipino Worker, Shiela Mabunga, who worked as a house helper in Riyadh in 2014. She was recruited by Bertiz’s recruitment firm Global Asia Alliance Consultant Inc. which she accused of “human trafficking.”
“I found out that I have different employer in my contract and working visa. This is a proof that Congressman Bertiz is a human trafficker,” Mabunga said in Filipino.
Mabunga’s father also faced the members of the press to attest to her daughter’s ordeal.