PAL employee seeks suspension of lawmaker

01/18/2011 - THE airline ground attendant who was berated by a neophyte party-list lawmaker has filed an ethics complaint at the House of Representatives on Monday.


Before trooping to the Batasan Pambansa, Philippine Airlines (PAL) Customer Service Agent 3 Sara Bonnin-Ocampo also filed a criminal complaint at the Office of the Ombudsman for grave slander.


She also flied serious misconduct and conduct unbecoming of a high ranking official against Alliance of Volunteer Educators (AVE) party-list Representative Eulogio “Amang” Magsaysay.


The complaint, filed at the House committee on ethics, is for grave abuse of authority, conduct unbecoming of a high ranking official, and solicitation of favor for personal gain using his public office.


According to Ocampo, the legislator called him a “menopausal bitch” after she failed to grant his request of seating beside his 10 and 13-year-old sons in a Los Angeles-bound flight last month.


Ocampo’s lawyer Bernadette Carasco said Magsaysay has not personally apologized to her client and has only asked for forgiveness through the media.


“Mag-apologize siya sa korte kasi korte ang magkakaron ng determination kung ano yung liabilities niya. This is a case that is very capable of repetition baka nga bago siya nakarating sa client ko, marami na siyang na-injure and baka marami pa siyang ma-injure in the future,” Carasco told reporters.


For his part, Magsaysay said he would apologize personally to the airline employee if given the chance.


“I'm willing to apologize anytime, anywhere. Since, reportedly, she has brought it to the House Ethics Committee, I just have to wait for further developments,” Magsaysay said in a text message.


Carasco pointed out that what Magsaysay did was not general slander or general words of displeasure and anger.


“He said menopausal bitch; that was particularly directed to our client who is a woman and a person and why would you use the word menopausal in a very negative sense? Do you have anything against aging women? I have a very beautifully maturing woman as a client,” said Carasco.


Ocampo’s camp wanted Magsaysay suspended but said legal action against the lawmaker is not up to them.


Carasco meanwhile noted that they will respect whatever decision the ethics committee will come up -- be it suspension, community service, expulsion, or just attending a gender sensitivity seminar.


“We want him to be suspended kung kami ang tatanungin, pero it’s not up to us. He has to have a legal justification to get away from it and ‘sorry, sorry’ is not a legal justification,” the lawyer said.


Labor group Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) declared its support for Ocampo’s fight for justice.


PM Secretary General Judy Ann Miranda questioned Magsaysay’s credentials as a party-list representative and called on new Commission on Elections chairman Sixto Brillantes to reform the accreditation process for party-list organizations.


“What underrepresented sector exactly does Magsaysay’s Alliance of Voluntary Educators speak for? It appears that Magsaysay as an advocate of the marginalized is as fictional as Mikey Arroyo being a representative of tricycle drivers,” said Miranda (Sun Star)

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