Special Assistant to the President Christopher ‘Bong’ Go has released a statement addressing the scandalous behavior of Cong. John Bertiz of ACTS-OFW at NAIA. The soundless CCTV video shows an irate Cong. Bertiz physically confronting an airport security checker while going through security protocols at the international airport.
Several outlet’s coverage of the events highlighted the relationship between Bertiz and SAP Go, as if to blame Go for the event even though he was not at the scene, in the airport, or party to Bertiz’ trip at all.
According to Bertiz, the footage is from Saturday morning, September 29, as he was about to fly out to Cebu via NAIA Terminal 2. SAP Go’s social media posts from the same day are about a lunch in Butuan that he shared with President Duterte and the family of the schoolboy who went viral for having only rice and toyo to eat.
SAP Go’s statement, in which he expressed his disapproval of Bertiz’ behavior, called for proper decorum from public servants as they need to be examples and models for citizens to follow.
“Pinapa-alalahanan ko lahat ng mga opisyal at empleyado ng gobyerno na maging tamang ehemplo sa ating mga mamamayan. Andito tayo sa gobyerno para magsilbi sa kapwa at hindi pagsilbihan o mabigyan ng special treatment,” wrote Go.
“It has always been our practice, even in Davao City when the President was still mayor, to follow rules, directives and procedure. As government officials, we were never exempted from adhering to such. In fact, the President himself will not ask us to be spared from yielding to authority and respecting the law,” the statement continued.
He also acknowledged the friendship between him and Bertiz, but (and this is despite what some spins would have you believe) SAP Go clarified that he actually has no control or power to dictate what his sentient and free-will possessing friend says and does.
Go’s statement, more than it addresses his ‘connection’ to the incident, is a reminder to public officials that their roles in creating and enforcing the law does not actually put them above it. Rather, it means a greater responsibilty to serve as an example to citizens of how to properly follow procedures and decorum.
Read the full statement here:
The conflict began when Bertiz supposedly refused to remove his shoes while going through airport security. The video captures him flashing his ID, and physically handling an airport checker’s jacket to snatch the employee’s ID before walking offscreen. Bertiz has released apologies and explanations, including what the ID card he flashed was and that his tension came from airport security letting ‘chinese-looking’ individuals pass through without undergoing full security procedures. Bertiz has not confirmed nor denied whether he took off his shoes. But as SAP Go said in his statement:
“Siya na po ang mag-explain kung ano talaga ang tunay na nangyari doon sa video na nag-viral.”