Boyet Fajardo Scandal & Why People Find it Despicable
March 25, 2009 § 32 Comments
First, let me put everything in perspective.
This so-called “scandalous” incident started when an unknown fashion designer name Boyet Fajardo went to Duty-Free Philippines to buy chocolates. He just came from China and reportedly wanted to buy pasalubong for his staff.
According to him, he was tired and stressed out. After disembarkation, he went straight to Duty-Free. In an interview with the now-controversial Fajardo, Alex Santos of TV Patrol found out that Fajardo managed to buy at least three items in three counters. On all those purchases, he presented his Philippine passport.
On the last counter, Counter 5, this is where Fajardo encountered some problems. Based on his interview with some TV reporters whom I know, Fajardo claimed to have seen Susan Gonzales, the duty cashier nudge Marvin Fernandez, the new assistant. Fajardo claims that Gonzales nudged Fernandez when they saw his disabled left arm (according to an editor friend, Fajardo has a limp. He can’t use his left arm since its shorter than his right and he can’t move it).
Fajardo approached Counter 5 and presented his unsigned Equitable Mastercard gold card (This is according to reporters who interviewed Fajardo).
Fernandez, who’s new in the job, asked Fajardo if he can show any form of identification. As the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) at DFP, Fernandez was just doing his job. He’s still three months on the job yet, according to reports, Fernandez is known for his honesty and a stickler to the rules. In fact, Fernandez is a member of a religious group known for their honesty and integrity.
Anyway, as what is expected from him, Fajardo showed his passport. Fernandez noticed that the passport did not bear Fajardo’s signature. In old passports, your signature just happens to be at the back flap. In Fajardo’s case, a US Visa was plastered on the old flap.
Since both the passport and the credit card which Fajardo presented bore no signature, as what the SOP is, Fernandez asked for other forms of ID.
Fajardo, at this point, went ballistic. The gay fashion designer claimed that the other counters found nothing wrong with his passport. Why is he now suddenly being asked for it?
Fernandez calmly told him that it is Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for him to ask the customer some form of identification. Yet, according to reports, Fajardo just berated the poor guy.
It was at that point that Susan Gonzales supported her colleague against Fajardo. When Fajardo was castigating the two employees, the duty sales manager approached them. Fajardo requested that he be given the chance to explain his side. He asked for a place where they can sort things out.
Yet, instead of asking the parties to cool down and go to another place to calm the situation, the manager just asked Fernandez to kneel down before Fajardo, ” to end this thing once and for all, just do what the customer (Fajardo) wants”.
Now, you’ll ask—was’nt Fajardo who asked (or ordered Fernandez) to kneel before him? Again, basing on reports, Fajardo claims that it was the manager who actually told Fernandez to do the unthinkable.
For me, whoever ordered this despicable thing is irrelevant. If, Fajardo’s claims are true, that it was not him, then probably the reason why the manager suggested such a thing to Fernandez is because Fajardo was bullying them.
Fajardo, as what witnesses say, was shouting invectives and asserting himself. He was dropping off names of influential people left and right, just like that scene involving an ABS-CBN reporter who was mauled by a Congressional staff member.
Anyway, there is reason to believe that Fajardo’s suggestions (” I will never forgive you if you’ll not kneel down before me”–paraphrased already in English) were misinterpreted because Fajardo himself continued on bullying these poor employees. Though the suggestion was rightly viewed by Mr. Fajardo’s spokesperson as ” creative outburst”, yet, it led to this highly contemptuous act which we now saw on the video clip.
What’s now the fault of Fajardo? Though I believe Fajardo did’nt mean to commit a crime, yet, he can be sued for oral defamation since the two victims claimed that he cussed and made names (” you pig! or something to that effect).
Will Fajardo be jailed for it? Yes. In the Revised Penal Code, oral defamation carries a penalty of imprisonment.
Now, who’s fault is it?
Obviously, if you look at all angles, it was plain and simple bullying. Fajardo bullied the poor DFP employee Marvin Fernandez. Fajardo tried to harass, bull and he wanted to really humiliate Fernandez. Fernandez, for those who don’t know, is a homosexual.
Being new in the job (he’s not a regular member of the union of Duty-Free Philippines and just started three months ago), Fernandez is as vulnerable as anybody in that situation. The fact that Fajardo was name dropping (according to accounts, Fajardo even name dropped the name of the head of DFP, Formoso) caused Fernandez to quake in fear. Fajardo exploited the situation by bullying the duty manager, who, probably thought that “customers are always right” and ordered her staff to do the horrific act.
The lesson here is simple—some customers are NOT always right. Customers who think of themselves as members of the elite think they deserve special or extra special treatment. They don’t.
In fact, those who are celebrities or they think they’re popular (like what this Fajardo thinks of himself) is expected to behave more civilly than others. Public celebrities are expected by the people to be role models. They are NOT expected to behave like savages or “lords”.
Boyet Fajardo should always be reminded of his roots. Fajardo claims that he was once a cashier. That’s the reason, says one reporter friend, why he claims to empathize with Fernandez (apart from of course, the most obvious–they’re both gays).
Mr. Fajardo should also be reminded that all the riches in the world can’t buy you humanity. You can’t buy decency and right conduct. You obviously cannot buy respect. You simply don’t.
Respect, like any other thing in this world, is earned. And you earn it, not because you’re rich or you’re a “celebrated fashion designer” as you so claim, but because people genuinely love you.
When you’re truly loved, you’re truly respected. And when you’re respected, that’s the time that you become popular. And when you’re now popular, that’s the time that you should be more responsible. And when you’re more responsible, that’s the time that people think highly of you as a celebrity.
IN this case, Mr. Fajardo, you’re not loved. You’re hated. Because you failed to earn respect. When you lack respect, you’re simply unpopular. And when you’re unpopular, you simply are not responsible. And when you’re not responsible for anything, reality strikes you like a thunderbolt.
You are not a celebrity, Mr. Fajardo. You’re simply a flash in the pan. Some people call you now a douchebag. Yet, what I can say is, you’re simply a cause celebre. Or probably a monstrosity.
For Mr. Fajardo, leave this place. Go to a place where passports are simply recognized as an important document.
For Mr. Fernandez, continue the fight. You are a very good employee. Continue to be honest. Yet, I also suggest that you forgive Boyet. Afterwards, sue him.
For union president Dennis Mallari—I just got this information that you’re just using this incident as your political vehicle. Don’t. People, especially reporters and journalists, are hot on your trail. Don’t exploit Mr. Fernandez.
And for all customers of Duty Free Philippines—-next time, try to behave properly. Think that no one sees you but God? Look again. There’s a camera out there. And YouTube is just a click of a finger.