Suarez eyes ethics case vs. Bertiz over viral NAIA video

MANILA House minority leader Danilo Suarez on Monday said his bloc is looking into the possibility of filing an ethics complaint against ACTS-OFW Party-list Rep. John Bertiz III, who was caught on video going against security protocol and harassing a security screener at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

Bertiz was caught on a CCTV security video on Sept. 29 allegedly refusing to remove his shoes as part of NAIA's security measure and snatching off the ID of the airport personnel identified as Hamilton Abdul.

In an ambush interview, Suarez said they will initiate the complaint against Bertiz, also a minority member, if no "outside party" triggers such probe. Bertiz is currently the deputy minority leader.

"We're gathering all the narratives of the event. I have consulted the leaders of the minority... there may be a possibility that we will take this up to the ethics committee," Suarez said. "We will call definitely for an investigation on what happened.

Suarez said other issues have cropped up involving the party-list lawmaker, including his controversial "no license" joke about Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Bong Go during a recent oath-taking ceremony and a shouting match with United Filipinos-Migrante leader Eman Villanueva in Hong Kong last year. Both incidents were caught on video which went viral.

There are so many issues coming out and that's precisely the reason why we have to call for a deeper investigation on this issue, Suarez added.

A letter is also circulating on social media allegedly withdrawing Bertiz' representation of the ACTS-OFW Party-list at the Lower House and expelling him as member of the party. The said letter dated March 15 was purportedly signed by Board Secretary Corazon Polinag and Chairman Feliciano Adorna, Jr.

When asked about the process of removing a congressman from office, Suarez said it has to go through the House of Representatives.

Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, meanwhile, said the process must also go through the Commission on Elections.

Meanwhile, Bertiz has offered no excuse for the way he acted when he went through the security checkpoint at the NAIA Terminal 2 domestic departure area on Saturday.

"There is absolutely no justification for the way I conducted myself. I sincerely apologize not only to the security assistant that I confronted, but also to the public for my actions," Bertiz said.

I offer my sincere apology to the public for being impulsive on what had happened during my course with NAIA staff. Thou I have my own reason and explanation for what I have done, I also take cognizance of my action that as representative of OFW and of million Filipino people, I should act diligently in conformity with the ethical standard of public official. Rest assured that every mistake will be bridge to articulate a genuine public service, he added. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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