Congressman calls PAL ground attendant a "menopausal bitch," apologizes later but denies threatening to get her fired
Congressman Eulogio Magsaysay apologized yesterday to a Philippine Airlines (PAL) customer service agent for calling her a "menopausal bitch" last month, reports ABS-CBNNews.com.
He explained that he was offended by Sarah Bonnin Ocampo’s tone when she told him she could not seat him next to his sons in a packed flight to Los Angeles on December 17. Had he known she had a "high-pitched voice," Magsaysay said he would not have taken offense. "Whatever offensive, sexist remarks I have made or uttered... I apologize," the Alliance of Volunteer Educators partylist representative said in a Saksi report yesterday.
In response, Ocampo, 42, told Saksi, "Madali lang magsabi ng apology eh (It’s so easy to apologize)." She said she could not forget what happened after she declined his seating request. In an interview with dzBB radio in December, Ocampo said the congressman kept looking at her "na parang kakainin ako ng buhay (like he was going to eat her alive)." She told Saksi yesterday, "I said, ’Sir, do you have a problem with me?’ He said, ’Shut up, you bitch! You menopausal bitch! Papasisante kita (I will have you fired)!’"
Magsaysay, however, denied saying he will have Ocampo fired, reports ABS-CBNNews.com. He said he welcomes an investigation into the incident for the public to know the root of the issue. Meanwhile, Ocampo said in an Inquirer.net report that she will file civil and criminal cases against him.
Yesterday, about 50 members of the PAL Employees Association (PALEA) and Partido ng Manggagawa picketed outside Magsaysay’s house in San Juan. PALEA Women’s Committee Head Ginalyn Licayan told Inquirer.net, "Mr. Magsaysay represents those obnoxious politicians who shamelessly wield their positions with utmost arrogance against ordinary employees... Calling our co-employee names such as ’menopausal bitch’ is the epitome of rudeness and sexism, totally embarrassing for a so-called public servant. And he is even considered a representative of the education sector!"