MANILA - ACTS OFW Party-list Rep. John Bertiz apologized Wednesday for cracking a joke about Special Assistant to the President Bong Go during an oath-taking of the Professional Regulatory Commission.
Go was supposed to speak at the oath-taking of agricultural and biosystems engineers that recently passed the PRC board exams, but Bertiz attended in his stead.
A viral video of the event shows the congressman asking the crowd at one point if they were familiar with Duterte's aide, to which some said no.
Bertiz then said: "Huwag na nating ituloy ito. Huwag na nating bigyan ng mga lisensya ito. Ulitin ko ha, iyung hindi nakakakilala kay Secretary Bong Go, walang PRC license mamaya."
(Let's not continue this program, let's not give out licenses. I'll repeat, those who do not know Secretary Bong Go will not get their PRC license later.)
Loud boos were then heard from some audience members.
This crowd reacts to Bertiz's joke. This clip's owner asked ABS-CBN News not to be named in the article.
"I take the full responsibility of that joke and I really apologize. I didn’t meant to anger, belittle or offend in any way," Bertiz said in a press conference.
"It was an inappropriate joke and I really feel sorry about it. I’m really sorry and Secretary Bong Go has nothing to do with the joke," he added.
Bertiz also said the joke was made in the same stride of jests often used by stand-up comedians.
"Parang 'pagka nanonood ka ng stand-up comedian, I just cracked the joke na, 'Sino hindi pumalakpak, mamamatay.' So it’s the same thing," he said.
(If you watch a stand-up comedian, I just cracked the joke, "Those who do not clap will die." It's the same thing.)
The video has racked up some 140,000 views and 1,300 comments in a Facebook post by a friend of the clip's owner.
With a report from Zandro Ochona, ABS-CBN News