Court orders Marzan couple detained at QC jailBy Jeannette I. Andrade
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines – A Quezon City court on Thursday rejected an “extremely urgent” motion filed by a couple accused of torturing their housemaid until she went blind to be detained at the National Bureau of Investigation.
Quezon City regional trial court branch 77 Judge Germano Francisco Legaspi instead ordered that the couple, Reynold and Annaliza Marzan, be jailed in the city’s jail facilities.
Annaliza was ordered to be committed at the female dormitory of the Quezon City Jail inside Camp Karingal in Sikatuna Village while her husband was sent to the Quezon City Jail in Kamuning.
In his four-page extremely urgent motion for commitment at the NBI, the Marzan couple’s lawyer Jose Ferrer asked for the transfer of his clients to the agency instead of the city jail “if only for humanitarian reasons and due to the medical condition of Annaliza Marzan.”
He further said that the accused in the serious illegal detention case have three children who have not been able to attend their classes since the case was reported in the media. Ferrer added that although the children are staying with their grandparents, “They want to grab every opportunity of being with their parents that they could have.”
He asked the court to allow the transfer to the NBI where the children will be given the chance to visit and be with their parents “in the same place and at the same time.”
“It would be very difficult for the children to visit their parents on separate jails if only to be with them on limited and borrowed time,” according to Ferrer.
He cited Marzan’s kidney ailment which is being monitored and even mentioned the instability of her blood pressure since the senate took her into custody.
During Thursday 2 p.m. hearing to resolve the motion at the trial court branch 77, assistant city prosecutor Ulric Badiola pointed out that the NBI is not the regular detention facility saying, “There is no difference between the accused compared to ordinary accused facing criminal charges,” describing the request for the transfer as an appeal for “special treatment.”
He further said that the defense did not present any evidence to prove Annaliza Marzan’s medical condition, which could be addressed by the local detention facility, and emphasized that the children could still visit their parents at the Quezon City Jail.
In his two-page order, Judge Legaspi ruled that the motion was “bereft of merit” and cited a provision of the law where persons awaiting trial shall be detained at the city jail. He said that there was no compelling reason not to abide by the law.
“The fact that accused Reynold Marzan and accused Annaliza Marzan will be held in different facilities of the Quezon City jail will not prevent their children from visiting them. Any perceived inconvenience the children might suffer in visiting their parents at different detention cells is so insignificant as to warrant the detention of both accused at the NBI,” he said.
Legaspi noted the absence of evidence which would establish the allegation that Annaliza Marzan has a kidney ailment and said that the defense counsel failed to substantiate the claim with a medical certificate or the testimony of a qualified physician.