ACTS-OFW Party-list representative John Bertiz (right) showing the security officer his NAIA security ID. | Image grabbed from Gifinoy’s posted video
MANILA, Philippines – A party-list lawmaker is under fire for breaking security protocol at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) on Saturday morning (September 29).
ACTS-OFW Party-list representative John Bertiz was seen on a viral video ignoring the security officer who asked him to take his shoes off at the screening line for inspection.
He went on to pick up his bag. Not satisfied, he turned around and angrily confronted the screening officer while showing him his ID card. He even grabbed the security officer’s ID card.
Prior to Bertiz, the video showed Ilocos Norte Representative Imee Marcos entering the frame without her shoes on.
Security personnel at NAIA are ordered to implement strict screening procedures because of the implementation of Security Condition Level 2 Alert, part of which is to order passengers to remove their shoes.
The video description claimed that Bertiz, after the incident, asked Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) General Manager Ed Monreal to dismiss the security officer from his post.
The security officer was identified as Hamilton Abdul of the Office for Transportation Security (OTS).
Following the incident, Bertiz explained his side of the story and said he wanted to accost airport personnel for letting in some Chinese nationals, escorted by NAIA staff, without going through screening machines.
“Nakakapagtaka na pagkapalusot sa mga Tsino na may escort na NAIA staff, pinigilan ako ni Abdul kahit na ipinakita ko sa kanya ang NAIA security ID ko at kahit na na-clear na ako sa metal detector at X-Ray machine,” he said.
“Hinihinala ko na ginawa ito ni Abdul para hindi ko masita ang NAIA staff na pinalusot ang mga Tsino ng walang security check,” he added.
However, the video did not show any Chinese nationals passing through before Bertiz.
The lawmaker also questioned why the CCTV footage leaked when it was supposed to be under the care of NAIA management.
“Mas nakakabahala rin kaya palang magpuslit at magpakalat ng CCTV video ang NAIA security ng walang basbas o pahintulot ni NAIA GM Ed Monreal,” he said claiming that such leniency on airport CCTV surveillance video controllers might be the reason why incidents of theft in the airport are not being exposed.
“Hinihinala ko na baka kaya hindi nakukunan minsan ng CCTV video ang mga natatanggap kong report ng nakawan at krimen sa NAIA, eh dahil malayang napapakialaman ng NAIA CCTV operators ang mga CCTV camera pati na rin ang video footage,” he claimed.
In a statement, the OTS said “a thorough investigation on the incident is already being conducted” and that “all reports, complaints, and actual video footage are now being consolidated and evaluated.”
It added that: “Authorities are now studying if any law or protocol has been violated, and assures all individuals concerned that any decision shall strictly be in accordance to existing rules, regulations, and procedures being implemented in our airports.” – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Grace Casin)