For refusing to remove shoes, Bertiz violated law – OTS chief
ACTS-OFW Rep. Aniceto “John” Bertiz could be penalized for resisting and disobedience to authorities, the Office for Transportation Security (OTS) said Monday.
OTS Administrator Usec. Arturo Evangelista said Bertiz violated Article 151 of the Revised Penal Code after he refused to remove his shoes at a security check at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) when asked by an airport personnel last Saturday.
Evangelista also cited Section 9 of Republic Act 6235, which prohibits certain acts inimical to civil aviation, pointing out that airline ticket-holders who refuse security searched at the airport “shall not be allowed to board the aircraft.”
“We have to understand that the rules and regulations set in our airports cannot be swayed to accommodate the call of situation and much more to tailor itself to the caprices of certain people,” Evangelista said in a statement.
“We know how complex and frustrating airport security can be at times, but security screening is ultimately the basic and paramount rule to which all airport passengers and users must conform to before they will be allowed access to the aircraft,” he added.
Bertiz was under fire after a CCTV footage – where he was seen confronting a security screening officer – surfaced and went viral on social media.
Bertiz initially defended his actions, claiming there were two Chinese-looking civilians escorted by airport employees who were allowed to pass through without removing their shoes at the security checkpoints.
However, Manila International Airport Authority General Manager Ed Monreal said that 20 minutes before Bertiz reached the security checkpoint, no Chinese looking individual has entered.
“As far as I’ve seen the footage, wala po akong nakita na nagpapatunay na may nauna sa kanya,” Monreal said in a press briefing.
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