Amid the controversy being faced by ACTS OFW party-list Rep. John Bertiz, another video has been circulating on social media that made the netizens more disappointed towards the lawmaker.
Netizens unearthed a video showing Bertiz, having an intense debate with UNIFIL-Migrante leader Eman Villanueva over their respective stands on the abolition overseas employment certificate (OEC) and P550 airport terminal fee for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).
The incident happened on January 29, 2017, at the office of Labor Attache Jalilo de la Torre.
While Villanueva opposed the idea of asking OFWs to pay for OEC, Bertiz insisted that the said OEC was necessary to distinguish between a documented and an undocumented worker.
According to the report of HKPinoyTv, Villanueva and the other audience listened to Bertiz explanation carefully, but when they realized that the lawmaker is trying to dominate the meeting by talking to them for 12 minutes, the Migrante leader tried to stop him from speaking.
“Patapusin mo muna ako, you had your turn kanina”. Bertiz said.
The response of Bertiz irritated Villanueva which resulted in a shouting match.
“Kayo na ang umubos sa oras namin. Kami ay nakipag-meeting sa DOLE at hindi sa inyo”. Villanueva said.
Bertiz who worked as an OFW in Saudi Arabia for five years replied: “Pareho lang tayong OFW. Hindi ako naiiba sa inyo, OFW din ako”.
The claim of Bertiz made Villanueva angrier and started to accuse the lawmaker of being an enemy of the OFWs because he’s the CEO of Global Asia Alliance Consultant Inc., one if the biggest recruitment agencies in the Philippines.
“Ang hirap sayo, kinakain mo ang oras ng dayalogo namin! Agency ka rin! Eh bakit, hindi ba agency ang kalaban ng mga OFW?!” said Villanueva.
In response, Bertiz asked Villanueva if his company made something wrong in the past, saying that the migrant leader won’t be able to work in Hong Kong without the help of recruitment agencies.
“Eh ano ngayon kung agency ako?! May naging problema ba ang ahensiya ko?! Eh ano ngayon kung agency?! Nakarating ka ba ng Hong Kong kung
hindi agency?!,” Bertiz told Villanueva.
Villanueva answered Bertiz question, saying that he became an OFW in Hong Kong without being helped by recruitment agencies.
After hearing Villanueva’s statement, Bertiz suspected that the migrant leader illegally came to Hong Kong to work.
“Anong taon ka dumating (dito sa Hong Kong)?! Ibig sabihin, undocumented ka!” Bertiz shouted.
Aside from that, Bertiz also accused Villanueva of not joining the OFWs on the street to fight for their rights.
However, several Filipinos in Hong Kong already knew Villanueva as a veteran OFW leader who has been an advocate of OFW rights for 25 years.
Because of the increasing tension, some of the attendees of the meeting restrained the two.
The meeting was suspended for a while, and the officials decided to continue the discussion in another room.
After the meeting, Bertiz told the reporters that both of them only became passionate during the debate.
“Yung pagiging passionate namin pareho, hindi rin natin maaalis na magkaroon ng konting sigawan,” he said.
The video of Bertiz and Villanueva didn’t get so much attention on social media last year.
But now thousands of netizens are watching the video because of their disappointment on the lawmaker who faced controversy after allegedly acting like a VIP during an airport screening procedure Yesterday.