‘They finally let me go home when I was already blind’By Julie M. Aurelio
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Despite her repeated pleas, Bonita Baran was allowed by her employers to leave for her home province of Catanduanes only after she went blind because of alleged abuses that went on for three years.
Taking the witness stand for the second time on Friday, Baran, 21, detailed how her employer Analiza Marzan allegedly maltreated her and finally let her go in May when she was deemed no longer useful.
“Halos paulit-ulit po ako nagpapaalam sa kanila dahil hinang-hina na po ako. Hindi man lang ako dinala sa ospital. Hindi ako pinapaalis, hindi nila ako pinayagan (I asked them again and again if I could leave because I was already too weak to go on. They didn’t even take me to the hospital. I was not allowed to leave),” she told the court.
The former housemaid testified before Judge Germano Francisco Legaspi of Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 77, which is hearing the petition for bail filed by accused couple Analiza and Reynold Marzan.
The Quezon City couple are facing charges of serious illegal detention.
Baran said the accused finally allowed her to go home on May 22, 2012, when she had already gone blind from Analiza’s repeated punches to her eyes.
That day, she recalled, the couple and their three children brought her to a bus station in Cubao for her long ride home, and that Analiza had to ask a bus conductor to assist her since her vision was already impaired. She arrived in Catanduanes the following day, she added.
“Even in my sleep, I could still feel their presence,” she said in Filipino, referring to the Marzans, during her direct examination.
‘’I’m here today because I want justice for what they did to me,” Baran said, sobbing.
Asked by the examining counsel, Assistant City Prosecutor Irene Resurrecion, how she felt the moment she was reunited with her family, she said: “When I got home, that was the only time I was able to tell my parents what happened.”
Resurrecion also presented Baran’s photos as evidence— one taken before she was hired by the Marzans and the other showing her battered and bruised.
For the defense, lawyer Joel Ferrer asked the court to conduct an ocular inspection of the Marzan residence at Las Villas del Cielo on Visayas Avenue, to test if Baran’s testimony would match the description of the places where she was allegedly detained by the couple.
Baran resumes her testimony on Oct. 15.