Jinggoy Estrada warns ex-employers of allegedly abused maid: Don’t lie, or I’ll send you to jail

Senator Jinggoy Estrada warns the former employers of allegedly maltreated maid Elvie Vergara against lying during the Senate committee on justice and human rights hearing on Tuesday, September 5, 2023. The Senate panel initiated a probe into the case of Vergara, who suffered severe physical injuries supposedly in the hands of her bosses for three years while under their employ in Occidental Mindoro. Screengrab from the Senate’s YouTube account

(INQUIRER) MANILA, Philippines — Senator Jinggoy Estrada on Tuesday warned the former employers of household helper Elvie Vergara against lying, as they faced a Senate probe into allegations they exploited the maid.

Estrada advised Jerry and France Ruiz to be truthful about their statements before the Senate committee on justice and human rights or be detained for dishonesty under oath.

“I am warning both of you dahil ‘pag oras na napatunayan namin na kayong dalawa nagsisinungaling, pakukulong ka namin (because when we prove that you two are lying, we will put you in jail),” he said.

During the hearing, France denied Vergara’s physical abuse accusations. She claimed that Vergara’s injuries might have been self-inflicted as she cited the household helper’s poor hygiene.

France further claimed that Vergara’s eye injury was caused by another maid, who hit the 44-year-old household helper during a tussle over personal belongings. Vergara’s left eye is now blind.

To underscore his stern warning, Estrada recalled the case of Bonita Baran whose employer used a flat iron to burn her face. Baran’s employer was later convicted for detaining and injuring the household helper.

READ: Couple found guilty of detaining, torturing maid loses appeal