Ang Probinsyano party-list Representative Alfred de los Santos hasn’t even warmed his new seat in Congress and yet already finds himself the subject of controversy. The neophyte congressman allegedly assaulted a service staff worker at a popular chain restaurant in Legazpi City, Albay.
According to a police blotter, he punched 20-year-old Christian Kent Alejo, an employee at Biggs Diner in the Old Albay district at around 3:40am on Monday “without any apparent reason,” GMA News reported. The blotter says that the waiter “luckily avoided” the punch. The incident was caught on CCTV and the video has since gone viral.
In it, a restaurant employee wearing a blue t-shirt, blue cap, and an apron can be seen approaching a table with four men. He gives something to a man wearing black believed to be de los Santos before turning around as if to leave the table.
However, he was called back by one of the men. They exchanged words for a bit before the man in black pounced and tried to hit the waiter. As reported in the police blotter, the restaurant employee looked like he managed to avoid the punch.
According to Brigada News, a radio station in the Bicol Region, Alejo was advised not to complain about the incident because he was going against a congressman. However, Legazpi City Police Station’s Police Community Precinct 2 said that they referred Alejano to the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) but the waiter allegedly declined.
De los Santos is one of two representatives for the political party-list Ang Probinsyano. He won a seat in the lower house during the May mid-term elections.
Party-lists were created so that marginalized groups could be represented in Congress but the Supreme Court ruled in 2013 that it can be formed for any type of group. This system has been criticized as a way for political dynasties to stay in power. Most also heavily rely on popularity in their campaigning.
The Ang Probinsyano party-list, which says that it aims to improve the lives of those working in the province, is named after a popular soap opera that has been on-air since 2015. The show’s stars even promoted the party-list during the campaign period, joining events and appearing on TV ads.
The strategy worked as the Ang Probinsyano party-list was 5th place in the elections, winning them two seats in the House of Representatives that are now occupied by de los Santos and Ronnie Ong.
Coconuts Manila has called the Ang Probinsyano party-list through the number listed on their Facebook page but the calls were unanswered. We have also reached out to them through Messenger but have not received a response as of this posting.