Monday, May 16, 2011

Labor group to AVE Rep. Magsaysay, fight is not yet over

16 May 2011

Complaints filed by the Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA), and PAL Customer Agent 3 and PALEA member Sarah Bonnin-Ocampo against Alliance of Volunteer Educators (AVE) Party-List Representative Eulogio Magsaysay for serious misconduct, abuse of authority and conduct unbecoming of a high-ranking public official at the House Committee on Ethics will continue hearing tomorrow at 1:30pm, Mitra Hall.

Women members of Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) and Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA) members will troop to the House of Representatives to support Ms. Ocampo’s fight against Magsaysay.

On 17 December last year, while on duty, Rep. Magsaysay shouted “menopausal bitch” and “bitch” several times to Ms. Ocampo after being told that they do not have to power to change seating arrangements in the business class as per request.

In Magsaysay’s reply to the complaint filed, he justified name-calling Ms. Ocampo a “menopausal bitch” by categorically saying that ‘the term menopausal was used without intention to malign Sarah but rather to describe figuratively the temper of complainant – a medically observed behaviour of middle age women.’  Use of the term bitch on the other hand was justified as ‘a common enough expression not really to slander but rather to express frustration over an unpleasant behaviour of a woman.’

“It really seems that Mr. Magsaysay’s ‘media apology’ not so long ago was no apology at all.  In his statement, Magsaysay justified why he called Sarah a ‘menopausal bitch’ and a ‘bitch’ repeatedly,” explained PM Secretary General Judy Ann Chan Miranda.  How can such an insensitive and arrogant public official serve his constituents well – especially women?   Kapag uminit ang ulo niya, he would resort to name-calling?  The fight is not yet over, Mr. Magsaysay!”

 “We remain resolute in pushing through with the complaint.  PAL employees and other frontline service workers are continuously victimized by abusive politicians and government officials.  They need to learn their lesson – that workers, especially women, are human beings, too, who have rights and dignity that should be respected,” added PALEA Women Committe Head Ginalyn Licayan. 

The PAL union has also been pushing management to come with a manual that will ensure protection of PAL employees from rude customers, including politicians and government officials.

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