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Solon apologizes for behavior, blames ‘monthly period’

HOT SEAT Rep. Aniceto Bertiz finds himself in the middle of another controversy over a viral video (right) showing him confronting an airport security screening officer.

A meek and contrite ACTS OFW Rep. Aniceto Bertiz III apologized to the public on Monday, the complete opposite of the man who was seen in a viral video angrily confiscating the ID card of an airport security personnel who had asked him to take off his shoes.

“I would like to express my sincerest and deepest apologies to the public, especially those who have seen the video,” the party-list congressman said at a press briefing.


Inappropriate behavior

“I am really sorry. I should not have acted that way. It’s very [inappropriate] for a public official to act that way,” he told reporters.


Pressed by reporters to explain his behavior, Bertiz said: “For the past three years that I have been a member of Congress, once a year, I have my ‘monthly period.’”

He was obviously referring to a woman’s menstrual period, widely perceived as the reason some become irritable at times.

“I’m only human. I become sensitive and get hot-headed because of work-related stress,” Bertiz said.

In a 63-second video taken by a security camera at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) Terminal 2, he was shown accosting Security Screening Officer Hamilton Abdul who had asked him to take off his shoes when going through a metal detector.

In response, Bertiz flashed what he said was an airport pass before confiscating Abdul’s ID. But the lawmaker claimed he merely took a photo of Abdul’s ID before returning it to him.

Bertiz also justified his actions by claiming that some Chinese-looking men escorted by airport personnel had gone through the detector before him without taking off their shoes. But this was disputed by airport authorities on Monday.

“We did not see any Chinese-looking persons,” said Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) General Manager Ed Monreal.


This was based on their evaluation of closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera footage from both MIAA and the Office for Transportation Security (OTS), taken around 20 minutes before the now-viral incident.

No proof of solon’s claim

“If our personnel had assisted or facilitated any persons [through airport security], that is not allowed,” Monreal told reporters, adding: “But I didn’t see anything [in the footage] that would prove that such persons had gone before him (Bertiz).”

Monreal also defended Abdul, saying “he did what he was supposed to do to protect the airport.” Bertiz, on the other hand, “did not follow the protocol” and had “no right” to take the officer’s ID.

A transportation official also defended Abdul and said that Bertiz “definitely” violated airport security protocols and compromised the country’s civil aviation security by refusing to undergo inspection.

Undersecretary Arturo Evangelista, OTS administrator, said that Abdul “was just doing his job to search Bertiz and his baggage, as part of international standards.”

“When we checked the closed-circuit television [camera] footage, there was definitely a breach of protocol. It was very clear,” Evangelista told
reporters on Monday. “Would you snatch the ID of an officer?”

He, however, deferred to Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade and President Duterte, when it came to possible sanctions against Bertiz.

“We have to understand that the rules and regulations set in our airports cannot be swayed to accommodate [the] call of the situation and much more to tailor itself to the caprices of certain people,” Evangelista said in a statement.

Netizens irked

As for Bertiz’s claim that some “Chinese-looking passengers” did not undergo routine security inspection, Evangelista said: “I have reviewed the CCTV, from up to 30 minutes before the incident, and I didn’t see the Chinese people he was [referring to].”

The footage at Naia spread like wildfire on various social media platforms over the weekend with netizens saying Bertiz’s behavior was typical of abusive public officials.

Just last week, he was also seen in a video telling new agricultural and biosystems engineers that they would not get their professional license if they did not know who Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go was.

Bertiz later said he was only joking and apologized.

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