(THE MANILA TIMES) (UPDATE) THE Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights, chaired by Sen. Francis Tolentino, on Tuesday, ordered the detention of France Garcia-Ruiz, the employer who allegedly subjected housemaid Elvira Vergara to severe battery and maltreatment, resulting in the victim’s blindness and causing other injuries.
Garcia-Ruiz will be detained at the Senate premises upon the order of the committee for contempt, following the motion of Sen. Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada.
Initially, Estrada moved that Garcia-Ruiz be detained at the Pasay City Jail, but the committee decided that she be detained at the Senate’s holding room so she could be easily accessed when the probe resumes next week.
Garcia-Ruiz is also allowed to receive family visitors.
Tolentino said the contempt citation and detention orders were issued against Garcia-Ruiz “for continuously evading the questions propounded by the members of this committee, as well as falsely testifying under direct examination by committee members and consistent with the rules of the Senate.”
Senators were irked after Garcia-Ruiz repeatedly denied that she maltreated Vergara, despite the testimonies of medical experts and Vergara’s co-workers against the employer.
Estrada did not include Pablo Ruiz, the husband of France, for the contempt citation and detention as the committee sees him as less guilty of the maltreatment charges.
During the hearing, the Ruiz couple denied allegations that they had physically assaulted Vergara that resulted in major injuries such as loss of teeth and blindness in one eye.
The 44-year-old household helper said she was also hanged on a meat hook by her former employer’s butcher.