Senate panel cites in contempt another employer of abused helper Elvie Vergara

(GMA NEWS) The Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights on Monday cited in contempt Pablo Jerry Ruiz, one of the employers of abused helper Elvie Vergara.advertisement

This was after Senator Jinggoy Estrada seconded the motion of Senator Raffy Tulfo, who expressed his disappointment over Ruiz’s “lies” before the committee.

During the hearing, Ruiz consistently defended his wife, France Ruiz, who was previously cited in contempt by the Senate committee investigating the alleged maltreatment of Vergara.

The Senate panel also junked the motion for reconsideration made by France Ruiz’s camp asking for her release from Senate custody.

Senator Francis Tolentino, who presided over the hearing as chairperson of the panel, cited the Supreme Court decision on Balag vs. Senate, which he said provides that the detention will last upon the end of the legislative inquiry of the Senate through the following actions: approval or disapproval of the committee report; the referral of the committee report to the committee on rules for the assignment in the calendar, or upon the expiration of Congress.

“The implication of the denial of the motion for reconsideration is that Mrs. [France] Garcia Ruiz will continue detention under the auspices of the [Senate] Sergeant-at -Arms,” Tolentino said.

Before the hearing adjourned, Lawyer Lorman Arugay, legal counsel of the Ruiz couple, asked again for the reconsideration of the detention orders for his clients as their two children, one of which is a minor, will be left alone in their residence and without means of livelihood.

“Given this development, this would force the said children to stop going to school and most likely to languish in despair considering that there would be no adult of sufficient age to take care [of] the both of them,” Arugay said.

However, the Senate panel denied the motion raised by Arugay.

Estrada refuted the motion, saying the children have visitation rights and there might be relatives who might take care of them.

The senator added that they will allow the couple’s children to stay with them in detention if they wanted to.

But Arugay said they are not considering the suggestion for the children to join their parents in detention.

Tolentino then suggested providing a separate room in the Senate for the children who will be considered as visitors.

Arugay said they opt for the children to stay in Batangas in order for them to continue their studies. —KBK/RSJ, GMA Integrated News