MANILA

Lawmaker who struck waiter issues apology

ANG Probinsyano Party-list Representative Alfred delos Santos on Thursday, July 11, issued an apology to the waiter he struck inside a restaurant in Legaspi, Albay.

"I would like to apologize to Christian Kent Alejo and his family for my action, and to our people for failing in their expectation of a public servant," Delos Santos said Thursday afternoon.

He also apologized to his party-list organization, his colleagues in the House of Representatives, and his constituents.

"I am also sorry to my Ang Probinsyano family and to my peers in Congress for dragging you into this controversy. I know you are all disappointed and I humbly accept whatever decision that you make in relation to my nomination in the partylist," he said.

"For our constituents, I hope and pray that you will find in your hearts a way to forgive and understand. I have learned my lesson out of this experience and given the chance, I would certainly commit myself to work even harder to advance the cause of our constituents, the probinsyanos," he added.

Delos Santos drew flak after a security camera footage of him hitting Alejo on the head inside Biggs Diner went viral on social media.

"I am not a bully or a troublemaker. Hindi po ako siga, astig or sanggano. The people who know me well can attest to that," he said.

Delos Santos claimed that the waiter muttered displeaseful words.

Alejo, 20, denied this.

"Kitang-kita po sa camera. Paalis na po ako, tinawag niya po ako. Ang sabi niya sa akin, 'Bakit ang sama mo makatingin? Ang sagot ko 'Di man po.'" Alejo said.

(It was captured on camera. I was walking away when he called me. He said, "Why are you looking at me that way?")

Labor group Partido Manggagawa (PM) on Friday, July 12, said the lawmaker's action was unacceptable, especially since he is supposedly a representative of a marginalized sector.

"A party-list representative should bravely stand up for labor and take the government to task for the country being named as among the 10 worst countries for workers," PM Chairman Rene Magtubo said in a statement.

"Instead, we have the sad spectacle of Ang Probinsyano Rep. Delos Santos caught punching an ordinary worker,” he added.

Magtubo urged his party-list or the House of Representatives to hold Delos Santos accountable.

Such repercussions, he said, is imperative, much like a student who punched his classmate or a worker hitting a customer.

"A student, who punches his peer, is liable to be expelled from school. A worker, who hits a customer, will definitely be terminated, and will probably be arrested and jailed," he said.

"If De los Santos won’t voluntarily resign, then he must be axed by his party-list group or the House Ethics Committee,” added Magtubo. (Ryniel Berlanga and HDT/SunStar Philippines)


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