Rep. Bertiz on viral 'walang lisensya' video: It was meant to be a joke

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 26) — ACTS OFW Representative John Bertiz said he had no intention to "offend or degrade" anyone during the Tuesday mass oath-taking ceremonies for the new agricultural and biosystems engineers.

A viral Facebook clip showed Bertiz, who took the place of Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Bong Go as keynote speaker, addressing the new engineers.

Speaking to the oath takers, he asked, "Kilala niyo ba kung sino yung sinasabi ko (Bong Go)?" [Translation: Do you know who I'm talking about (Bong Go)?]

When someone from the crowd replied with "hindi (no)," Bertiz suggested to not push through with the ceremonies.

"Wag na nating ituloy to. Yung mga hindi nakakakilala kay Secretary Bong Go, walang PRC license mamaya," the party-list representative said.

[Translation: Let's not push through with this. Those who do not know Secretary Bong Go will not get their PRC (Professional Regulation Commission) license later.]

Bertiz later on apologized for what transpired during the event.

"I was asked to represent SAP Bong Go in that event. Him being the special guest and keynote speaker, I assumed that the audience knows him, especially that his name was largely printed on the tarpaulin in front of the stage," Bertiz said in a statement Wednesday.

"When someone shouted, 'hindi,' that is when I cracked the joke, 'Ang hindi nakakakilala sa kanya, hindi bibigyan ng lisensya' It was more of like, 'Ang hindi pumalakpak, mamamatay" kind of joke in stand-up comedies,'" he said.

[Translation: When someone shouted "No", that is when I cracked the joke, "Those who do not know him will not be given a license." It was more of like, "Those who do not clap, will die" kind of joke in stand-up comedies.]

He noted he will take full responsibility for what he said, and reiterated that Go had nothing to do with his actions.

Netizens have slammed Bertiz' jest, saying that it was an inappropriate joke for people who "study and attend review session just to pass the licensure exams."