MANILA - A group of Filipino workers in Hong Kong on Monday called for the removal of John Bertiz as representative of the ACT OFW party-list following a viral video where the lawmaker was seen scolding an airport security screener.
Dolores Balladares-Pelaez, chair of the United Filipinos in Hong Kong or "UNIFIL-MIGRANTE-HK," said even their group had a bad experience with Bertiz who came uninvited in a scheduled dialogue with Philippine Labor officials back in January 2017.
"To our surprise, Rep. Bertiz also came to the said dialogue uninvited, spoke for almost 20 minutes and lectured us on the need for the overseas employment certificate and that only his proposed 'OFW ID' can replace the OEC," she said in a statement.
Balladares-Pelaez said Bertiz got mad and raised his voice when UNIFIL-MIGRANTE Secretary General Eman Villanueva politely raised his hand to tell the lawmaker not to take of so much time of their dialogue.
"We were all shocked when he shouted at Eman and falsely accused him of being an undocumented migrant after Eman exposed him as a recruitment agency owner," she said, recalling the incident that was caught on a video, that is also now viral.
"He is not worthy to represent our sector in Congress. He is only representing himself and his kind – recruitment agencies. He is a power tripper and he thinks he can get away with it because of his closeness to Philippine Pres. Duterte," she added.
Bertiz has apologized for scolding the airport security screener at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. But he explained that he wanted to emphasize why the personnel let "a group of Chinese-looking people" breeze through the checkpoint.
Office for Transportation Security Administrator Art Evangelista said Bertiz "definitely" violated protocols when he snatched the security personnel's ID.