Complaining of chest pains, Rep. Aniceto Bertiz III was admitted Tuesday at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Quezon City 7, three days after he was seen on camera bullying security personnel at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
House minority leader and Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez confirmed Wednesday that Bertiz, who drew a firestorm of criticism for his behavior, was hospitalized and that he remained confined.
Bertiz’s own party-mates, led by the second nominee of ACTS-OFW, have condemned his behavior, and some colleagues in Congress have called for his resignatio his behavior, and some colleagues in Congress have called for his resignation.
Bertiz, however, said he will not resign.
The House ethics committee, chaired by Agri Party-list Rep. Delphine Lee Gan, was supposed to begin its motu proprio investigation into the NAIA incident involving Bertiz.
At the NAIA Terminal 2 Saturday morning, Bertiz scolded security checker Hamilton Abdul, who had asked him to take off his shoes as part of security measures.
Bertiz then shoved his identification card at Abdul and tried to grab his ID card. His actions were captured by the closed-circuit television cameras inside the airport.
House sources said Bertiz, a deputy minority leader, experienced “sleepless nights” since his actions were exposed on the Internet.
Joining Suarez at the news conference was COOP-NATCCO Party-list Rep. Anthony Bravo who said Bertiz had undergone an angioplasty in 2016.
House senior Deputy Minority Leader and Buhay Hayaang Yumabong (Buhay) party-list Rep. Lito Atienza said the NAIA incident could have triggered hypertension.
Like Bertiz, Suarez called for an investigation of how the CCTV footage came to be posted on social media, calling this a security breach.
He also said the NAIA incident was a reminder that members of the House must adhere to the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.
Also on Wednesday, the Manila International Airport Authority reminded government officials that the security pass issued to them is not an excuse to violate security procedures at the airport.
Earlier, a liason officer for Bertiz turned over his ID to the airport authority.
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade also asked government officials to “set a good example and respect security protocols.”
“Having an access pass gives you the opportunity to enter the area but that does not exempt you from following the protocols there. All of us must follow and respect protocols,” he said.
On Sunday, a video on social media showed Bertiz deliberately disregarding security protocols. The lawmaker was seen forcibly taking the ID of the screening security officer from the Office of Transportation Security, later identified as Hamilton Abdul.
The widely circulated video drew angry comments from Internet users as well as public officials.
In a statement, Bertiz issued a public apology but insisted that there were Chinese-looking men who were ahead of him that were allowed to pass unchecked.
A review of the video footage before Bertiz’s arrival, however, showed no such men being assisted by NAIA personnel to get pass security.
OTS Administrator Arturo Evangelista reminded Bertiz and all other passengers to abide by the laws pertaining to boarding the aircraft.
“The airline has all the right not to allow you to board if you don’t want to be searched,” Evangelista said.
Airport authorities on Wednesday urged air travelers not to bring banned items to avoid missing flights or any delay, especially during the coming holidays when the number of air travelers is expected to increase.