(POLITIKO) Senator Jinggoy Estrada has warned the employers of abused Occidental Mindoro househelp Elvie Vergara that they may be imprisoned if proven that they beat up Vergara and caused her blindness.
During the resumption of the Senate justice committee hearing into Vergara’s abuse on Tuesday, Jerry and France Ruiz denied abusing Vergara, whose face was altered due to bruises from blows allegedly inflicted by her employers.
Vergara also accused Jerry Ruiz of beating her up during his drunken stupor, an allegation the employer denied.
For her part, France Ruiz said it was another male househelp who threw punches at Vergara. She admitted however that she did not bring Vergara to the hospital upon seeing her injuries.
Estrada, who authored the Kasambahay law, warned Vergara’s employers that they may suffer the same fate as Reynold Marzan and Anna Liza Catahan, who were convicted for abusing their househelp Bonita Baran from 2009 to 2012.
Estrada said the Senate’s hearing into Baran’s abuse in 2012 fast tracked the passage of the Kasambahay law. Baran suffered injuries in her face from a flat iron.
The Supreme Court affirmed the employers’ guilty verdict for serious illegal detention in 2021. Only Marzan is serving 40 years in prison, after his wife Catahan died in 2020.
“You might suffer the same fate as the amo of Bonita Baran. Nasentensiyahan ng reclusion perpetua. Kita niyo naman kondisyon ni Elvie, halos hindi na makakita. Irreparable na yung damage. At sino gagawa non?” Estrada said.
“Sumasagot si Aling Elvie without being coached. Kayo binubulungan kayo (ng legal counsels niyo). Nothing against it. That’s your right. But as an observant. nakikita ko sino nagsasabi ng totoo,” he added.