Elvie Vergara’s co-household workers also cry abuse vs ex-employers
MANILA, Philippines — Elvie Vergara’s colleagues are also accusing their former employers of exploitation, as they were likewise allegedly unpaid and deprived of health benefits.
They stated their grievances against Pablo and France Ruiz during the resumption of the public inquiry being conducted by the Senate committee on justice and human rights on the alleged maltreatment of Vergara by the couple in Occidental Mindoro.
During Monday’s hearing, Senator Jinggoy Estrada asked an alleged former shop assistant of the Ruiz couple whether he received benefits from them. Paolo Toling, alias Pawpaw, answered no.
“Wala pong benefits,” said Toling, could not provide any other details except to recall that his former bosses only asked for his bio-data at the time of his hiring.
Toling also told the senator that France cursed him whenever he committed mistakes.
But France denied ever employing Toling. She said she never saw him. Toling said he was a member of the couple’s staff for about two weeks.
Another former Ruiz household staff, Melinda Magno, told the panel that she did not receive her monthly salary of P4,500 from her ex-employers. He even narrated that France hit her with a “golok” – a cutting tool similar to a machete – in December 2017.
According to her, France suddenly hit her hand with the spine of the golok as she was picking up the trash.
“Hindi ko po alam [bakit ako tinaga], wala naman po akong kasalanan (I didn’t know why I was hit, I didn’t do anything wrong),” Magno said.
France said they had already coordinated with the Department of Labor and Employment regarding their former employees’ unpaid benefits.
The labor department said a violation of the Republic Act 10361 or Domestic Workers Act or Batas Kasambahay comes with a fine ranging from P10,000 to P40,000.