House reprimands Bertiz over NAIA outburst

MANILA The House of Representatives on Wednesday reprimanded ACTS-OFW Rep. Aniceto Bertiz III for his controversial behavior 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 an airport security protocol and snatching off the ID of a NAIA security screener identified as Hamilton Abdul.

With 159 affirmative votes, one negative vote and three abstentions, the Lower HousE approved the motion of Minority Leader Danilo Suarez to reprimand Bertiz for his airport misconduct.

According to House rules, the House may censure or reprimand an erring member with the concurrence of the majority of all its members. Other forms of congressional discipline are suspension and expulsion.

Suarez noted that reprimand is the most apt form of punishment considering that this is the beleaguered lawmaker's first offense.

"I respectfully move that the penalty to be imposed on him (Bertiz), with regard to his offense, should be reprimand. As far as I know, this is his first offense. He already admitted to his mistake and has profusely apologized for his misconduct," Suarez said.

"The punishment must commensurate the act hence, any form of punishment greater than reprimand, such as a suspension, is severe and inappropriate," he added.

Suarez's motion was duly seconded by Deputy Speaker Raneo Abu.

Prior to the House verdict, Bertiz apologized anew for his behavior at NAIA, which he said was unbecoming of a public official.

"Patawad po dahil bilang isang lingkod-bayan, hindi ako naging ehemplo ng tuwid at magandang asal (Forgive me, because as a public servant, I have not been a good example of good and right conduct)," Bertiz said in his privilege speech.

Bertiz, owning up to his mistake, said he is ready to face the punishment.

Ako ay politiko, isang public figure at nagkamali ako. Obligasyon at karapatan po ninyo ang nais na parusa mula sa inyo, aking mga kasama sa 17th Congress, upang ituwid ang pagkakamaling iyon ay maluwag ko pong tatanggapin (I am a politician, a public figure and I made a mistake. It is your obligation and right, as members of the 17th Congress, to punish me for my mistake and I would readily accept it)," he said.

He, however, cried foul over the cyberbullying against his family, noting that his two daughters received sexually explicit messages as well as threats of sexual violence, while his son was called a drug addict.

"You cannot even imagine what I and my family had to go through. Do what you want to me but please spare my family," Bertiz said.

"Hayaan po ninyo ako muli na humingi ng paumanhin kay Mr. Abdul, sa aking pamilya, sa publiko, sa inyo, mga kapwa ko mambabatas, at sa institusyong ito (Let me once again ask forgiveness to Mr. Abdul, my family, the public, my colleagues, and this institution)," he added.(PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency