Former “jueteng” whistleblower and losing senatorial candidate Sandra Cam was reported to have lashed out at a Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) employee last month when she was not given VIP treatment, adding that she is expecting to get appointed as a Cabinet member in three months.
The Inquirer report added that Cam’s outburst started when the young airport employee failed to recognize her.
The incident happened on February 16 when she was waiting for her Masbate-bound trip and chose to spend it at the airport’s VIP lounge.
Just like with any other airport passengers who wish to occupy the VIP lounge, Cam is supposed to pay P1,120, although the fee can be waived for government officials. The airport worker, mistaking Cam for a government official, asked her to provide a government ID to fill out a “meet and assist form. But Cam could not provide IDs, except for a credit card bearing her name.
The Inquirer reported that Cam told the airport worker in Filipino: “I don’t have a government ID but in three months, I will be a member of the Cabinet.”
The airport worker explained the P1,120 fee and asked Cam to fill out a form, but Cam reportedly irritated, told the employee that she was escorted by the NAIA Airport Police Department to the VIP lounge because she was a “high risk person,” and argued over why she had to pay the fee for simply sitting at the lounge.
Cam also demanded to see the manager before shouting at the young airport employee, saying, as quoted by Inquirer: “You know, hija? I was on the phone. Do you know who I was talking to? I was talking to Bong Go. Do you know me? If you don’t, search me up on Google. I told you already I had no government ID because in three months I would be a member of the Cabinet.”
Cam reprimanded the airport employee about the way she was approached and even threatened to have the employee fired.
“I was a former flight attendant and that is not how you approach passengers. The reason I was put here is because I might get shot outside. Can you give me protection?” Cam said in Filipino.
The young employee and the VIP lounge manager apologized to Cam, but she still kept on questioning why she would have to pay for the lounge’s “small room” when they only offer water and coffee.
Cam reportedly asked for the manager and employee’s IDs and took pictures of them using her phone. She also threw the employee’s ID on the floor, as per the report.
Despite the incident, the airport workers still informed Cam that her flight was boarding.
Both the manager and employee reported the incident to the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future, something that could have been avoided with proper coordination between airport offices.
No available Cabinet position
Contrary to Cam’s claims about assuming a Cabinet post in three months last February, President Rodrigo Duterte himself said that he has not offered Cam any position.
Duterte also said that his Cabinet is already full, even joking that he would need to kill some.
However, he said that he is willing to offer work to Cam as his way of paying her back for helping him during the election campaign.
“She helped me during the election… at tutulungan ko siya. Utang na loob yan eh. So yan ang promise ko. Tutulungan ko siya. If she asks for work, tutulungan ko siya,” Duterte said.
As for Cam’s behavior, Duterte said he will “let the public judge it.”
According to an Abante report, Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said that he has no idea about Cam’s anticipated Cabinet post.
Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo also said that he has “no idea” about Cam’s appointment.
Cam denies bragging about Cabinet post
Cam said that Inquirer news report is “a big, big lie.”
“It’s not true that I made yabang because I’m not mayabang. I’m a very simple person whose heart is really for the poor, the needy and that those that have been oppressed,” Cam said in a phone interview from Abu Dhabi with ABS-CBN News Channel.
Cam said the female airport employee “rudely” interrupted her phone call to ask her for an ID and fill out a form.
“What I said exactly is that instead of having me present to you a government ID, you wait until 2 months, I will be joining the government and I’m sure that I can give you the government ID that you need,” she said.
While she did not comment about her supposed government appointment, she said that even her family members and friends do not know about the position.
Cam also denied threatening having the airport employee fired from her job, adding that she only said this: “What I said is, ‘You are not supposed to be in this job because you do not know how to handle people. You are so young but you are so rude.’”
As for refusing to pay the VIP lounge fee, Cam explained that she did so because she only remained in the “very small room” for 20 minutes without getting any refreshment.
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