House ethics panel to probe Bertiz

Published October 1, 2018, 7:54 PM

by Roel Tibay

By Ben Rosario

With or without any complaint, ACTS OFW Party-list Rep. Anicete “John” Bertiz Jr. will be investigated by the House committee on ethics to determine whether or not he has abused his authority as member of Congress.

Minority Leader and Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez said the minority bloc has been consulted about the viral video footage that earned Bertiz severe bashing on social media for arguing with an airport security detail.

Minority leader cong. Danilo Suarez (KJ ROSALES)
Minority leader cong. Danilo Suarez (Kj Rosales/Manila Bulletin)

Former president and now Pampanga Rep.Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was also asked to comment but directed the media queries to Suarez.

Bertiz, Suarez said, remains the Assistant Minority Leader, adding that there is no reason to remove him from his post.

House rules do not impose severe penalties for similar wrongdoing but a reprimand may be imposed if found guilty.

“We’re gathering all the narratives of the event but at the same time I have consulted the leaders of the minority,” he said.

Suarez added: “There may be a possibility that we may have to take this with the ethics committee.”

According to him the minority blocs will await a complaint from “outside party” but whether or not this will come, the opposition will still push for the ethics probe.

He explained that a deeper investigation has become necessary in the light of reports that the OFW community has become divided about the incident.

Suarez said that aside from the argument he had with NAIA security, Bertiz’s claim of security lapses and corruption at the airport will also be included in the probe.

The lawmaker was referring to Bertiz’s accusation that airport security forces grant VIP treatment to travelers entering the airport with police escorts.

“This is a sensitive issue. But give us time to determine the truth,” Suarez said.

Bertiz had apologized for the alleged high-handed manner in which he confronted the security assistant. .

“There is absolutely no justification for the way I conducted myself. I sincerely apologize not only to the security assistant that I confronted, but also to the public for my actions,” he said.