Rep. Aniceto “John” Bertiz III of ACTS OFW party-list yesterday said he will return the access pass given to him by the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) as a privilege for government officials to show his sincere apology for breaching a security procedure recently.
The lawmaker was caught on video snatching the ID of an airport screener who insisted that he submit to procedures, including the removal of shoes which a fellow Rep. Imee Marcos did prior to him.
Bertiz, however, scolded the airport security personnel, snatched his ID and demanded his removal from service.
“I will surrender this ID,” Bertiz said in a televised interview. “To be fair, I don’t want my fellow congressmen and other holders of my ID to be affected.”
Bertiz explained he only showed his access pass to the security personnel because it was the only ID in his bag at that time. But he said he never used it unless for official business.
MIAA General Manager Ed Monreal earlier had clarified that the access passes given to officials give them license to violate airport protocols.
The lawmaker is now facing an ethics complaint at the House of Representatives related to the incident.
The Office for Transportation Security (OTS) the other day said Bertiz “definitely” violated protocols after snatching an airport security official’s ID.
OTS Administrator Art Evangelista said he is waiting for guidance from the Department of Transportation (DoTr) and President Rodrigo Duterte before handing out a decision.
Monreal, meanwhile, urged government officials who were accorded airport passes not to abuse their “privileges.”
Monreal said those given airport passes should know their limitations and responsibilities as owners of the privilege passes.
“That is a privilege given to those we see are ‘worthy’ to be given passes,” Monreal said, adding airport passes can be revoked in case of abuses.
Bertiz was also slammed by women’s rights group Everywoman for his earlier excuse claiming he had his “yearly menstrual period” when he made the scene at the airport.
Everywoman called the lawmaker’s reasoning as ludicrous in a statement released Tuesday.
“The congressman does not seem to have read a single book on biology. He also seems to have been asleep during the last 50 years. Science has shown that this lie about women’s irrationality is just a fantasy made up by men like Bertiz to cover up for that they cannot compete with most men and women,” the statement said.
“Science has also shown that sexism is the refuge of the abusive and domineering,” it added.
Gabriela Women’s Party Rep. Emmi de Jesus, meanwhile, said women should not be stereotyped as arrogant and entitled during their monthly period.