QC maid ‘tortured’ till she went blindBy Jeannette I. Andrade
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The punishment for her “inefficiency” was so severe that she now lives in darkness.
Her face and arms still swollen from the beatings, a former domestic helper Thursday filed charges against a Quezon City couple who allegedly tortured her for five years until she went blind.
A wheelchair-bound Bonita Baran, 21, a native of Catanduanes, was escorted by her younger sister and government lawyers to the office of Assistant City Prosecutor Irene Resurreccion where she sued Reynold and Analiza Marzan of Visayas Avenue for attempted murder, physical injuries, and serious illegal detention.
Her sworn affidavit listed down her former employers’ alleged acts of cruelty since they hired her in February 2007.
She said she had been wounded with a knife, struck in the head with hard objects until she bled, punched in the eyes, singed with a flat iron, and force-fed with dead cockroaches.
Baran also cited two incidents in July 2010 and June 2011 when Analiza Marzan allegedly tried to kill her. In the first incident, Analiza stabbed her in the arm with a pair of scissors while she was doing the laundry inside the toilet.
In the second incident, Analiza tried to strangle her while saying: “Why are you taking so long to die?”
Analiza only let go of her when Reynold intervened by asking his wife: “Do you really want to kill her? Where would you put her (body)?”
In June 2009, “they started detaining me inside the house so I won’t be seen by other people.” She said she was given spoiled food to eat and was not allowed to communicate with her family.
She went blind due to repeated punches in the eyes almost every day from April 2011 to April this year, the complaint said.
“She (Analiza) punched me even if my eyes were still sore (from the last beatings). When she noticed this, she poured cold water on my face, causing my eyes to further swell. The next day, she punched me in the eyes again until blood began to spurt.”
As a result of the beatings, she said, she had completely lost use of her right eye while the left had retained only 10 percent of its vision.
The Marzan couple only allowed her to go home after she went blind. “They told me I was useless and could no longer be of any help. They waited for my sister to text them to say they were sending me home,” she said.
Baran alleged that she could not escape because the couple constantly threatened her. Finally, they allowed her to see her family in May but they warned her not to talk about her ordeal.
“When I got home, I didn’t have to tell my family what happened because they almost didn’t recognize me. My eyes remained swollen. I was already blind. My face, arms, hands, feet, neck, and back bore scars. My left ear had been deformed. My lips were swollen and one of my teeth had been chipped. I had many bald spots on my scalp.”
Analiza’s husband was included in the charges as an accessory for purportedly tolerating his wife’s alleged abuses on Baran.
Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) chief Persida Acosta, who assisted Baran in filing the complaints, said “she was treated like an animal.”
“(Her employers) only let her go home when she could no longer serve them on account of her blindness,” Acosta noted.