“Bertiz is suffering from hypertension. It’s possible that his blood pressure shot up due to stress,” Atienza said.
Rep. Aniceto Bertiz III hospitalized; House probe set
Delon Porcalla (The Philippine Star) - October 4, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Party-list congressman Aniceto Bertiz III, who has been under fire after his video harassing a screener of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) during security check went viral online, was rushed to the hospital on Tuesday due to chest pains.

Bertiz, of ACTS-OFW, remains confined in the hospital, House Minority Leader Danilo Suarez told reporters yesterday.

Suarez said Bertiz, who also earned the ire of women’s groups for attributing his outburst at the NAIA to menstrual cycles, underwent angioplasty surgery a few years ago.

Rep. Lito Atienza of Buhay party-list said Bertiz was admitted to the hospital after suffering chest pains.

“Bertiz is suffering from hypertension. It’s possible that his blood pressure shot up due to stress,” Atienza said. 

Bertiz returned his NAIA access pass to Manila International Airport general manager Ed Monreal yesterday afternoon for breaching security protocols.

House probe

The House committee on ethics is set to start its investigation of Bertiz over the NAIA security video.

Bertiz himself filed a resolution seeking an inquiry into the incident.

Rep. Delphine Gan Lee of party-list AGRI, who chairs the ethics panel, said they would discuss what actions should be taken against the lawmaker.

Lee added the committee has discretion on whether or not it would summon Bertiz during the probe.

Under House rules, the ethics committee can recommend punishment for members found to have violated the Code of Conduct for public officials and for disorderly behavior.

Bertiz has apologized for the incident.

Fair probe

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade assured Bertiz of fairness in connection with his department’s inquiry into the NAIA security video.

Tugade urged government officials to follow security protocols.

“Having an access pass gives you the opportunity to enter the airport, but it does not exempt you from following the security protocols,” he said.

“This incident should be an eye-opener for public servants to stay humble. We need to follow best practices overseas. We will uphold what is right and what is best for the greater good. We should set a good example as public servants,” Tugade added.

Code of standards  for public officials

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has reminded Bertiz to abide by the code of standards for public officials.

CHR spokesperson Jacqueline de Guia slammed Bertiz for his sexist remark against women.

“By blaming his actions as part of his ‘monthly period,’ he is saying that a woman who is menstruating can be dismissed as unreasonable, moody and over-emotional, and would react rudely as he did,” she said.

De Guia said Bertiz should take responsibility for his actions without resorting to sexist stereotypes.

“As a party-list representative, he should be aware of the security procedures required of passengers at the NAIA as well as how to act accordingly in these situations,” De Guia said. 

The CHR official said Bertiz’s refusal to remove his shoes during security check at the NAIA put his personal interests over the public.

De Guia branded the lawmaker’s actions as an abuse of his position to intimidate the airport employee. 

‘Disgrace to OFWs’

Bertiz is a disgrace to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) whom he represents in Congress, an official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said.

“Our OFWs are known as honest, hardworking and helpful. They are law-abiding citizens,” Balanga, Bataan Bishop Ruperto Santos, chairman of the CBCP episcopal commission on migrants and itinerant people, said.

“It is disappointing to know that there are government officials who are not following simple instructions nor respecting security protocols,” he added.

Santos said as a lawmaker, Bertiz should realize that his position entails duties to serve the people.

“Their government title or ID is not a license to be served, nor to get perks for personal privileges. They are there in those positions to serve the public,” the Church official said.

Santos hopes that the incident would serve as a lesson to other government officials.  – With  Janvic Mateo, Edu Punay, Richmond Mercurio, Rudy Santos

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