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OFW group files misconduct, human trafficking complaints vs Bertiz


MIGRANTE INTERNATIONAL, an alliance of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), filed complaints on Thursday before the House Ethics Committee against ACTS-OFW Party-list Representative Aniceto “John” D. Bertiz III for alleged misconduct.

In a press briefing yesterday, Migrante International Spokesperson Arman Hernando told reporters that they “formalized” their complaint because they see that Mr. Bertiz does not represent the aspirations and values of OFWs.

Mr. Bertiz has been under fire for a series of comments and actions that reflect abuse of power. He has publicly sought pardon for the incidents, but his apologies have sparked further anger.

Among the complainants are former migrant workers Shiela Mabunga and Emmanuel Villanueva, who both testified against the solon.

Ms. Mabunga accused the recruitment agency of Mr. Bertiz, Global Asia Alliance Consultants Inc. (GAACI), of human trafficking after she was deployed to an employer different from what her contract stated.

“Nalaman ko na magkaiba ang employer sa dala kong kontrata at sa aking working visa, ito ay patunay na isang human trafficker ang agency ni Congressman Bertiz (I found out that the employer in my contract and my working visa were different, this is proof that the agency of Congressman Bertiz is a human traficker) ,” she said.

Sought for comment, Mr. Bertiz’s chief of staff, Jun Aguilar, told reporters in a phone message the the representative “can’t still take calls that would be added stress to him, which his doctor asked to avoid.” — Charmaine A. Tadalan

Duterte ‘stronger than a horse’, spokesman says

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON Harry L. Roque, Jr. gave assurance on Thursday that President Rodrigo R. Duterte “is healthy” and denied rumors that he was hospitalized last Wednesday when he skipped an event at the Palace.

Mr. Roque said those who wish the President ill should be ashamed of themselves.

“Lalo kayong magnais nang ganyan, lalong lumalakas [ang Presidente] (the more you wish that, the more he becomes stronger),” he said, adding in Filipino that the President is “stronger than a horse.”

He explained that Mr. Duterte just wanted to have a day-off last Wednesday when he skipped a scheduled event of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.

“He had a schedule almost every day. He did not really have a day-off. So, the President decided to have private time… I don’t think it was fatigue. He just probably realized he hasn’t had a day off,” he said.

Hours after the briefing, Mr. Roque posted a video of the President attending the Joint Command Conference with the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) with a caption: “PRRD arriving at the Joint Command Conference today in Malacañang. He’s not sick! Sorry to his detractors!” — Arjay L. Balinbin