OFWs file ethics complaint vs Bertiz

Aniceto John Bertiz III

IN a move initiated by Migrante, some overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) have filed an ethics complaint against ACTS-OFW Rep. John Bertiz, who is now under fire over his reported refusal to undergo security check at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

Complainants Shiela Mabunga and Emmanuel Villanueva asked the House committee on Ethics and Privileges to investigate Bertiz’ alleged misconducts.

The two OFWs submitted written testimonies detailing their harsh encounters with Bertiz.

In Mabunga’s written testimony, she said in 2013  she applied as a cook for Dubai at Keys Placement, a recruitment firm owned by Bertiz’ wife,  however at midpoint, Mabunga’s documents were transferred to Bertiz’ agency Global Asia Alliance Consultants Inc. (GAACI) for processing.  

Mabunga charged the GAACI has several contract violations.

Instead of being deployed in 2014 to her real employer, Mabunga was instead picked up at the airport by a different employer from whom she suffered abuse and maltreatment.

When half of her body was paralyzed due to her ordeal, her family sought help from Bertiz’s agency countless times but their pleas fell on deaf ears.

Fearing for Mabunga’s life, her father filed a request for repatriation at POEA in February 2015.

In the complaint, Mabunga said that it took four months before Bertiz met with her to negotiate with her employer. She begged Bertiz to take her back with him to the Philippines but Bertiz instead persuaded her to return to work for her employer until the end of Ramadan.

Bertiz promised Mabunga repatriation and assistance for her college education on the condition that she abstain from filing a case against his agency GAACI and her employer. Upon returning to her employer, Mabunga underwent even more abuse and severe exploitation.

Finally in August 2015, Mabunga was repatriated to the Philippines but none of the commitments made by the agency was ever fulfilled and Bertiz did not even show up in any of their hearings at POEA.

In 2016, Mabunga decided to file a case against Bertiz and his recruitment agency at POEA and NLRC.