HK OFWs call for Bertiz’s ouster from Congress

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An alliance of more than 30 overseas Filipino worker associations in Hong Kong is calling for the removal of the ACTS-OFW representative Aniceto ‘John’ D. Bertiz III from Congress.

The United Filipinos in Hong Kong (UNIFIL-MIGRANTE-HK) said Bertiz should be kicked out of Congress for his supposed disorderly behavior.

“Bertiz has crossed the line so many times. He should be punished by the House of Representatives for disorderly behaviour and be expelled from Congress,” Dolores Balladares-Pelaez, chairperson of the United Filipinos in Hong Kong (UNIFIL-MIGRANTE-HK), said in a statement.

A video had gone viral online showing Bertiz scolding and confiscating the ID card of a Manila airport security screener who called his attention for passing through the security scanner without removing his shoes.

“It was Bertiz who violated the airport security protocol, a security measure that only the Philippine president can be exempted. The least he could have done is to humbly apologize and go through the security screening again,” said Balladares-Pelaez.

“But no! His trapo ego was so hurt that even after ignoring the security personal, he still went back just to scold him and illegally confiscate the poor man’s ID. That is a totally unacceptable behavior for someone who wants to be addressed as an ‘Honorable’ congressman,” she added.

The video surfaced just after Bertiz was criticized for joking before new engineers that they will not get their Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) license if they did not know Special Assistant to the President Bong Go.

Balladares-Pelaez also recalled UNIFIL-MIGRANTE’s personal experience of Bertiz’ arrogance.

“In January 2017, we sought a dialogue with Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Undersecretary Joel Maglungsod who was visiting Hong Kong to discuss our demands particularly the abolition of the overseas employment certificate (OEC). To our surprise, Rep. Bertiz also came to the said dialogue uninvited, spoke for almost 20 minutes and lectured us on the need for the OEC and that only his proposed “OFW ID” can replace the OEC,” she said.

Balladares-Pelaez narrated how Bertiz got mad and raised his voice to UNIFIL-MIGRANTE secretary General Eman Villanueva, who politely raised his hand wanting to tell Bertiz to not take so much of their time with Usec Joel Maglungsod who was yet to respond to their appeal.

“We were all shocked when he shouted at Eman and falsely accused him of being an undocumented migrant after Eman exposed him as a recruitment agency owner,” she said.

The group said Bertiz is not worthy to represent their sector.

“He is not worthy to represent our sector in Congress. He is only representing himself and his kind – recruitment agencies. He is a power tripper and he thinks he can get away with it because of his closeness to Philippine Pres. Duterte and his personal assistant Sec. Bong Go,” Balladares-Pelaez said.

Bertiz has already apologized for his action.

“I offer no excuse. I am sincerely sorry for my actions,” he said in a statement on Sunday.

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