Senate panel OKs subpoena vs employers of allegedly abused household help

(INQUIRER) MANILA, Philippines — A  Senate panel on Tuesday approved the issuance of a subpoena against the employers of household help Elvie Vergara.

Elvie Vergara, a household help who was severely abused by her employer for three years. (Photo courtesy of Senator Jinggoy Estrada’s official Facebook page)

The summon directed Pablo Ruiz, his wife France, and their children Jerry and Danica to attend the Senate committee on justice and human rights inquiry into Vergara’s supposed maltreatment.

No member of the Senate committee on justice and human rights objected when Senator Jinggoy Estrada moved to subpoena the Ruiz family, who did not show up during Tuesday’s panel hearing.

READ: Senate probes maltreatment of ‘kasambahay’ Elvie Vergara

Estrada’s motion to subpoena Vergara’s alleged tormentors came after the committee was informed that the Ruiz family was absent from the hearing due to a medical condition, supposedly as indicated in the “excuse letter” submitted to the panel.

“Excuse letter? Ano ito eskwelahan? (What is this a school?)” an irked Estrada asked.

“So this is just a piece of paper? Mr. Chair, I move that we subpoena the family of Pablo Ruiz, the wife, France Ruiz, and the two children,” he added.

READ: Employers of abused maid in Mindoro must be penalized, says Estrada

The panel chaired by Senator Francis Tolentino approved Estrada’s motion.

The Senate initiated a motu proprio investigation into the severe maltreatment of Vergara, who sustained injuries and became partially blind after the Ruiz family allegedly subjected her to various physical and emotional abuse. Her employers reportedly maltreated her for three years since 2020 in Occidental Mindoro.

Vergara’s case came to light after reports about Vergara went viral online in early August.