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Lost in translation: Lawmaker wants PCOO exec to resign for paraphrasing statement

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By John Carlo Cahinhinan

ACTS-OFW party-list Rep. Aniceto Bertiz III wants Communications Assistant Secretary Kris Ablan to resign for allegedly distorting his remarks during a forum held with Cabinet Secretaries recently.

In a statement Thursday (July 12), Bertiz accused Ablan of “maliciously if not ineptly” changing his statement.

“Ang tinatanong ko po ay bakit sa presentation ng economic cluster, wala man lang banggit tungkol sa kanilang plano para sa mga OFWs. Hindi ko tinira si Presidente. Pinuri ko pa siya,” he said.

During the second pre-State of the Nation Address (SONA) forum Wednesday (July 11), Ablan said Bertiz was critical of the administration over its supposed lack of projects for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

Ablan’s statement about Bertiz elicited strong remarks from Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, who disputed the lawmaker’s view that the government is doing nothing for OFWs returning to the Philippines.

However, Bertiz said he only challenged the Department of Labor and Employment to come up with new strategies to help OFWs.

The lawmaker said it would be better for Ablan to either apologize or resign.

“Asec. Ablan, please correct what clearly was a malicious and idiotic error on your part. Do not be a source of miscommunication and fake news or statement when you are part of the presidential communications office,” he said.