Court asked to quash warrants vs couple in maltreatment caseBy Julie M. Aurelio
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines – A couple accused of maltreating their maid for years has asked a Quezon City court to recall the warrants for their arrest which it issued early this week.
Reynold and Analiza Marzan argued in a petition filed by their lawyer that they were not able to avail themselves of their right to a preliminary investigation of the charges of serious illegal detention lodged against them by their former househelp,
In the four-page pleading, the couple asked for a reinvestigation of the charges at the prosecutors’ level.
“Accused have valid defenses that can be ventilated in a preliminary investigation and may prove their innocence and thus save the precious time of the court,” the Marzans said through lawyer Jesus Fernandez.
Early this week, Judge Germano Francisco Legaspi of the Regional Trial Court Branch 77 ordered the Marzans’ arrest with no provision for bail on the illegal detention charge.
The court also still has to decide on the prosecution’s request for the issuance of a hold departure order against the couple, who remain at large, to prevent them from leaving the country during the pendency of the case.
The Marzans, who live in a house at Visayas Avenue in Quezon City, have been charged with abusing Baran for four years until she went blind in one eye.
Annaliza was also charged with two counts of attempted homicide at the Quezon City Regional Trial Court and seven counts of serious physical injury at the Metropolitan Trial Court.
Assistant city prosecutor Ronald Torrijos recommended the filing of the cases after he found probable cause against the couple, saying the maid’s account was credible. However, the charges against Reynold as an accessory to serious physical injuries and attempted murder were dismissed due to lack of evidence.
The Quezon City prosecutor’s office filed the charges after the Marzans failed to show up to present their side at preliminary hearings.
In their appeal to the court, the couple said they were surprised to learn that warrants were issued for their arrest and thus asked the city prosecutor to re-open the preliminary investigation of the charges.
“This is the very reason that accused, with bended knees, appeal for a sense of fairness and justice, to consider their plea of having a preliminary investigation and for the court to judicially determine the probable cause that has been the basis for the issuance of the arrest warrant,” the Marzans’ petition said.
Baran lodged the complaints with the help of the Public Attorney’s Office, saying she was hired in 2007 and that Annaliza began maltreating her in April 2008.
The alleged maltreatment ranged from strangling her neck, burning her nose with a flat iron and pouring cold water or bleach on her burns and wounds.
Annaliza would allegedly punch Baran’s eyes, which eventually caused blindness in the right eye and dimming eyesight in the other.
From June 2009 up to May 2010, the Marzans allegedly prevented her from leaving the house and reportedly locked her inside a dark toilet.
The couple let her go home to the province in May 2012 as Baran was already blind allegedly due to repeated punches.