Gunman attacks witness in alleged abused maid’s case, PNP launches manhunt
MANILA, Philippines — The main witness in the case of battered household help Elvie Vergara was attacked and shot by an unidentified gunman in Oriental Mindoro on Tuesday, according to police.
In a report on Wednesday, the Police Regional Office 4-B (Mimaropa) said 48-year-old witness Jay-ar Suarez Dimerez was tracked down by an unidentified armed man in a home along Sitio Apnikan, Barangay Tubili, Paluan.
The shooting occurred around 9 p.m. after the gunman forcibly entered the house after seeing Dimerez. Police said the former pointed his gun to the ground and fired twice, prompting the latter to escape out of fear.
Fifteen minutes later, operatives of Paluan Municipal Police Station (MPS) responded to the area after receiving a tip from a concerned citizen.
Police said the gunman remains at large. He was more or less five feet and 10 inches tall with a medium build, wearing an all-black outfit during the time of the attack, based on the victim’s account.
The Paluan MPS is currently conducting a follow-up investigation to identify and hunt down the perpetrator, while Dimerez is under the custody of the Criminal Investigation and Detection – Group Occidental Mindoro.
In early August, reports on battered Vergara went viral online, prompting the Senate committee on justice and human rights to investigate her case.
Vergara sustained injuries and became partially blind after her employer, France Ruiz, allegedly abused her for three years since 2020 by repeatedly punching, kicking, and beating her with various objects.