Union, bloggers rage vs Pinoy fashion designer

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 23 2009 11:28 PM | Updated as of Mar 24 2009 03:44 PM

Hundreds of people are calling for the boycott of the labels of Angelino 'Boyet' Fajardo, a Filipino fashion designer who reportedly caused a scene at the Duty Free Philippines Fiesta Mall in Parañaque City last March 13, 2009.

The online petition titled “Please Boycott Boyet Fajardo RTW Labels” already has more than 600 signatures.

It aims “to give him a lesson and to help us stop him from victimizing the underprivileged over and over and over again,” read the petition.

On that Friday the 13th, Fajardo, a known ready-to-wear (RTW) designer, berated a Duty Free cashier and some managers.

Credit card

Eyewitness reports say the fuss was about Fajardo’s credit card.

As a standard operating procedure (SOP), the cashier asked Fajardo to present an I.D. to vouch that he owns the unsigned credit card he presented at the counter.

This, however, made Fajardo furious.

Store managers came to the scene and explained to him that the SOP is meant to protect not only their company but his safety as well.

Fajardo allegedly ignored the explanations. He even brought out his mobile phone and threatened to call people with high positions whom he knew.

Forced to kneel

He also reportedly uttered cuss words and got angry because the Duty Free people did not know him.

The petition claims that Fajardo said this: “"Mga leche kayo! Hindi niyo ako kilala? Ako si Boyet Fajardo! At itong p...ina na babaeng ito (pointing to a lady officer) at ang baklang ito (pointing to the cashier) ay walang kwentang mga tao! I want them fired!!!”

Fajardo was said to be unstoppable as he continued his yelling and scolding until he said he would be satisfied only if the cashier kneels down before him and/or allow him to slap the cashier’s face.

The cashier, who is said to be a casual employee, knelt down with tears in his eyes and apologized to Fajardo. The fashion designer did not slap the cashier.

Duty Free Management has already formed a committee that will formulate general procedures and guidelines in handling customers like Fajardo.

Fajardo fashion line

Fajardo has been in the fashion industry for 20 years. His labels “Boyet Fajardo,” “Initials,” and “Substance” are carried by major shopping malls.

Aside from calling for the boycott of Fajardo’s fashion lines, the online petition also urged SM, Landmark and Robinson’s to pull out Fajardo’s products.

The petition even called on the Fashion Designers Association of the Philippines to dishonor him of his membership and profession, and asked foreign embassies to deny him entry to their respective countries.

Union files complaint

In addition, the petition called on the Commission on Human Rights, Department of Labor and Employment, and human rights and labor activists to take appropriate legal action.

The Duty Free Philippines Employees Association, meanwhile, showed ABS-CBN's Alex Santos a copy of the video where Fajardo allegedly abused two of its members.

Susan Gonzales, one of two employees who filed a complaint, said Fajardo threw his passport on the face of cashier Marvin Fernandez.

Being the store manager, Gonzales said she intervened to try to appease Fajardo, but he also allegedly vented  his ire on her. Fajardo allegedly cussed at her and called her fat.

She said Fajardo allegedly threatened to get her fired since he reportedly knows a fashion designer who is in politics. She said the dispute lasted two hours.

Fajardo then said he would only forgive Fernandez if he gets to slap the cashier and if Fernandez kneels before him, Gonzales said.

As a result of the incident, Gonzales and other union officials went to the Commission on Human Rights to file a complaint against Fajardo.

Dennis Mallari, president of the Duty Free Employees' Association, said Fajardo violated the dignity of their members.

ABS-CBN News asked Fajardo for his side, but he declined to comment as of posting.

Fajardo said he would issue a formal statement on Tuesday regarding the incident.

Blogs vs Fajardo

The credit card incident sparked not only a petition, but the creation of blog posts and online forums on the matter.

Most comments at boyetfajardo.blogspot.com condemned the fashion designer’s actions.

“This self-proclaimed God should perish in hell,” said Nightwing in a comment posted on March 15, 2009 (10:15 p.m.).

A March 18, 2009 (7:31 p.m.) comment by sayonarashounen read “I would've restrained him. what a very despicable character.”

While a poster defended Fajardo saying “I wish people won't be too quick in giving their comments on somebody they do not know and an incident they have not personally witnessed.” The comment was posted on March 17, 2009 (7:07 p.m.)

A video of a portion of the CCTV footage of the incident is on YouTube. -- with a report from ALEX SANTOS, ABS-CBN News