Jinggoy Estrada warns ex-employers of allegedly abused maid: Don’t lie, or I’ll send you to jail
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Jinggoy Estrada on Tuesday warned the former employers of household helper Elvie Vergara against lying, as they faced a Senate probe into allegations they exploited the maid.
Estrada advised Jerry and France Ruiz to be truthful about their statements before the Senate committee on justice and human rights or be detained for dishonesty under oath.
“I am warning both of you dahil ‘pag oras na napatunayan namin na kayong dalawa nagsisinungaling, pakukulong ka namin (because when we prove that you two are lying, we will put you in jail),” he said.
During the hearing, France denied Vergara’s physical abuse accusations. She claimed that Vergara’s injuries might have been self-inflicted as she cited the household helper’s poor hygiene.
France further claimed that Vergara’s eye injury was caused by another maid, who hit the 44-year-old household helper during a tussle over personal belongings. Vergara’s left eye is now blind.
To underscore his stern warning, Estrada recalled the case of Bonita Baran whose employer used a flat iron to burn her face. Baran’s employer was later convicted for detaining and injuring the household helper.
“Kaya nagkaroon ng batas kasambahay dahil kay Bonita Baran – dahil sa pagmamalabis, pagmamaltrato sa kasambahay,” the senator pointed out, referring to Republic Act No. 10361 or the Domestic Workers Act.
(The law for household helpers came about because of Bonita Baran – due to excesses mistreatment of maid.)
“Huwag kayo magsinungaling. Ngayon palang, sa aking pakiwari parang nagsisinungaling na kayo,” Estrada also said, adding that one or two more hearings may be scheduled to conduct the probe.
(Don’t lie. Right now, it seems to me that you are lying.)
“Kumuha ka ng pinakamahal na abogado, pinakamagaling na abogado… pero ‘pag nagsisinungaling kayong dalawa, ipakukulong ko kayo maniwala kayo,” he continued.
(Get the most expensive lawyer, the best lawyer… but if you both lie, believe me, I’ll put you in jail.)