Airport officials said Monday Rep. Aniceto Bertiz rejected his claim that Chinese-looking men also did the same when he was screened at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on Saturday.
Eddie Monreal, general manager of the Manila International Airport Authority, said Bertiz clearly violated the security protocol by not removing his shoes during the passenger screening process at the NAIA Terminal 2.
Bertiz apologized for confronting a security checker at the airport, a video of which went viral over the weekend.
In a press conference on Monday, he likened his behavior to a woman going through the pre-menstrual syndrome.
“For the past three years that I’ve been a member of Congress, once a year I get something like a monthly period. I’m only human, someone who’s weak and sometimes gets hotheaded. I also get stressed because of work,” Bertiz said.
“I would just like to express my sincerest and deepest apology to those who were able to watch the video. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have acted that way. It’s very uncalled for a public official to act that way.”
Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said government officials should follow President Rodrigo Duterte’s example of rejecting any special treatment.
“Let’s learn by way of example from what the President is doing. Even the President does not ask special treatment,” Roque told reporters.
“The President complies with security checks at the airport. He goes through the X-ray machine and he does not ask for any special treatment.”
In Congress, the minority bloc in the House of Representatives will take up with the ethics committee the issue on Bertiz.
The bloc’s leader, Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez, said his 44-man group will refer Bertiz’s case to the House ethics committee led by Rep. Delphin Gan Lee.
Bertiz was asked to remove his shoes by a screening security officer of the Office of Transportation Security manning the final security check before his departure around 6:45 am on Sept. 29.
“What we have seen in the video footage was that he [Bertiz] failed to follow protocol,¨Monreal told reporters.
He also denied Bertiz’s claim that there was “a group of Chinese-looking passengers escorted by airport staff that breezed through and did not undergo the same security protocols that everybody else had to go through.
Monreal said he and other airport officials reviewed the closed-circuit television camera footage of the incident and he saw nothing.
“We reviewed the footage 20 minutes prior to the incident and we saw nothing, but if the congressman has other evidence, we will look into that,” Monreal said.
OTS Administrator Art Evangelista seconded Monreal, saying there was a breach of protocol.
“It was clear,” he said.
Airport officials said Bertiz also violated airport security protocols also for snatching the ID of the duty security officer. With Nat Mariano and Maricel V. Cruz