Bertiz represents recruitment agencies, not OFWs: Migrante

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 02 2018 06:54 PM

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MANILA - ACTS OFW Rep. John Bertiz, owner of a recruitment agency, should step down because he does not represent Filipino migrant workers, the group Migrante International said Tuesday. 

Arman Hernando, Migrante spokesperson, claimed that Bertiz's recruitment agency, Global Asia Alliance Consultant, has previously been suspended due to complaints. 

"Sa paglapit din ng OFWs sa Migrante, may kaso po na lumapit sa amin tungkol sa abuso, at inirereklamo ang recruitment agency ni Congressman Bertiz," he told ANC.

"Sa record ng POEA, nang tingnan namin, siguro sa dami ng pang-abusong ginawa ng recruitment agency niya ay suspended na 'yung agency," he added. 

Hernando sees possible conflict of interest between Bertiz's work in Congress and his recruitment agency. He said agencies' goals are to profit from labor export, which is contrary to OFWs' interests. 

"'Yung party-list niya ay representing talaga ang mga recruitment agencies. Sa unang mga buwan pa lamang ng Duterte government, malakas na ang lobbying ng recruitment agencies," he said.

Bertiz is under fire after he was caught on security video disobeying security protocol and harassing a security staff at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

The lawmaker has apologized for his behavior. He said he is open to any investigation and will return his airport access pass to authorities. 

ABS-CBN News sought the side of Bertiz but the lawmaker has yet to respond, as of posting. 

A series of viral incidents 

Bertiz also drew flak last week for joking before a new batch of engineers that they will not get their licenses if they do not know Bong Go.

In January 2017, he also figured in a viral video where he was seen shouting and his pointing finger at Eman Villanueva, leader of Migrante Hong Kong.

Villanueva said Bertiz practically gatecrashed their group's dialogue with labor officials and took most of their time by doing a "monologue" about his proposed OFW card.

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Bertiz said he already apologized to Migrante Hong Kong, but Villanueva said they never heard anything from the lawmaker since the shouting incident.

Both Villanueva and Hernando believes it's time for Bertiz to step down from Congress. 

"Na-expose niya ang sarili niya. Hindi niya nire-represent ang sektor na dapat nire-representa niya. Sa aroganteng behavior niya, wala nang dahilan para manatili siya sa puwesto," Hernando said.