January 17, 2011
Philippine Airlines employee Sarah Bonnin-Ocampo and the Philippine Airlines Employees’ Association (PALEA) today filed complaints at the Ombudsman and the House Ethics Committee against Rep. Eulogio Magsaysay of the party-list Alliance of Volunteer Educators.
They trooped to the Office of the Ombudsman by 10:00 a.m. and then to the Batasang Pambansa by 1:00 p.m. The cases allege that Magsaysay is guilty of grave slander, serious misconduct, conduct unbecoming of a high ranking public official and direct solicitation of personal favor or gain using his office. Atty. Bernadette Carrasco, legal counsel for Ocampo, said that the Ombudsman case is a criminal complaint while the Ethics Committee case is an administrative one.
“We wish that Sarah’s fight for justice will blaze a trail in the struggle for workers’ dignity. Service workers in the airline industry and call centers among others suffer indignities in the workplace through no fault of their own but receive no protection from their employers or the government. There are many more Sarahs who need support and protection against abusive officials and insensitive customers,” insisted Ginalyn Licayan, head of the PALEA Women’s Committee.
Meanwhile the labor group Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) declared its support for Ocampo’s fight for justice and a contingent from PM joined PALEA members in the activities today.
“Sarah’s fight is the fight of all working women. We call on women workers and women advocates to stand up in support of Sarah against sexism and for dignity,” said Judy Ann Miranda, PM secretary-general. PM and women’s groups participated in a forum this afternoon. In the forum “Stand Up Against Sexism and Abuse of Working Women and Men” held at a restaurant in Quezon City, PM, PALEA and other groups discussed a coordinated campaign for “Justice for Sarah Ocampo, Justice for Women Workers.”
Miranda also questioned Magsaysay’s credentials as a supposed party-list representative. “Magsaysay’s abusive behavior towards a woman employee exposes his pretensions as a representative of the marginalized. 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,” she added.
“We call on incoming Commission on Elections (Comelec) chair Sixto Brillantes to reform the accreditation process for party-list groups. The last Comelec was universally condemned for accrediting and proclaiming bogus and fake party-list groups in contravention of landmark Supreme Court guidelines,” Miranda asserted.