Congressman sorry for calling PAL employee a 'menopausal bitch'

By RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 11 2011 03:49 PM | Updated as of Jan 12 2011 03:55 AM

Magsaysay claims he was offended by lady's 'high-pitched voice'

Congressman sorry for calling PAL employee a 'menopausal bitch' 1MANILA, Philippines - A party-list congressman on Tuesday apologized to Philippine Airlines (PAL) Customer Service Agent 3 Sara Bonnin Ocampo for calling her a “menopausal bitch.”

Rep. Eulogio Magsaysay of the Alliance of Volunteer Educators party-list said he felt Ocampo raise her voice at him after he asked her to put him in a seat beside his son in his December 17, 2010 flight to Los Angeles, California.

Magsaysay said he took offense at Ocampo’s high-pitched voice.

“Siguro kung alam ko high pitched siya di ako naoffend. If I had prior knowledge na high pitched siya,  I wouldn’t have been offended. Kung may nasaktan, humihingi ako ng patawad," he said.

He said that after seeing Ocampo’s media interview where she said she has a naturally high-pitched voice, he realized on hindsight the incident could have been avoided.

“Siguro di nangyari yun kung di niya ko nasigawan. Sabi niya high pitched boses niya. Paano ko malalaman, sa akin dating sigaw? I didn’t even introduce myself as a congressman.”

Magsaysay said it was his wife who introduced him as a congressman, after which he was given better service.

The party-list lawmaker braced himself for possible charges before the Ombudsman and House of Representatives ethics committee, pointing out that filing cases is the right of the complainant.

He also revealed his wife wrote a letter of complaint against Ocampo. He denied saying he will have Ocampo investigated or fired.

Influence peddling

In a press conference Tuesday, Ocampo said the congressman approached her while he was waiting at the Mabuhay Lounge to board a flight to Los Angeles, California, USA last December 17.

Magsaysay requested Ocampo to put him on a seat beside his son in the flight, but ticketing had seated them apart.

Ocampo politely declined the request, citing that the flight was full and no seat beside his son could be given to him.

It was then that Magsaysay allegedly told her to keep her cool, but at the same time repeatedly started calling her a “menopausal bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch” several times.

Magsaysay allegedly  also looked at her sternly, which made her uncomfortable. Ocampo asked Magsaysay not to call her names, told him that she will call security then walked away.

She said that while she did not call security, Magsaysay later approached her and introduced himself as a congressman. He also threatened to get her fired and have Congress investigate her.

Ocampo condemned the incident, saying she does not deserve such treatment from a government official especially since she pays her taxes.

Ocampo has been on the job for 18 years and is a widow. “My job is to put food on the table," she told reporters.

Ocampo approached first

Congressman sorry for calling PAL employee a 'menopausal bitch' 2Magsaysay basically confirmed most of the events in the narration of Ocampo on Tuesday morning.

In his own words, Magsaysay said he approached Ocampo to try to get her to put him on a seat beside his son who is not used to traveling alone.

He said when they checked in, they hadn't gotten a seat number yet because business class was overbooked by 7 passengers.

Magsaysay said he was asked by the lounge staff to check at the boarding area where he saw Ocampo.

The lawmaker said it was Ocampo who approached him asking if he had a problem with her.

“Dun na ako na-upset. Sabi 'What's your problem?' Dun nako nakapagbitiw ng salitang 'menopausal bitch'. I shouldn’t have mentioned that but nabitiwan ko nga," he said.

Magsaysay said he welcomes any investigation into the incident.

“Siguro palagay ko makakabuti rin iyon para malaman ng sambayanan punot dulo ano totoo This could have happened to any congressman or person. Lumalabas porke't congressman ako kontrabida na ako. Wag naman sana ganun," he said.