By Leslie Ann Aquino
A Catholic prelate reminded government officials that they are in their positions to serve and not to get perks.
Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos said this after a video involving ACTS-OFW Rep. Aniceto Bertiz went viral on social media after confronting an airport security officer.
“Their government title or ID is not their license to be served, nor to get perks, not for personal privileges. They are there in those positions to serve, to help and to labor; not to lord over others nor to feel superior,” he said in a statement.
Government officials, Santos said must give “good examples”, and live to their title “your honor”.
The head of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People said these officials should draw inspiration from overseas Filipino workers who are honest, law abiding and dignified in their works.
“Our OFWs are known as honest, hardworking and very helpful. They abide the laws of the country, and respect their customs and culture,” said Santos.
“It is very disappointing and disgraced to see and to know that there are government officials whom represent them are not following simple instructions nor respecting rules for security reasons,” he added.
The ECMI head expressed hope that the incident would serve as a lesson to all especially to government officials.
Meanwhile, the Commission on Elections said the removal of Bertiz from his partylist is not up to the poll body.
COMELEC Spokesperson James Jimenez explained that under the party list system, it is the party-list organization that has a say on which nominee will be occupying their slot.
“That is already up to them,” he said in his Twitter account @jabjimenez.
This amid calls for the removal of Bertiz as the ACTS-OFW party-list representative and as a member of the House of Representatives.
Bertiz already apologized for the incident.