Maltreated maid who lost eyesight gets justice after 5 years
After a legal battle that lasted for five years, a couple was meted out prison terms for maltreating and illegally detaining their housemaid.
Judge Ferdinand Baylon of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 77 recently sentenced Anna Liza Catahan to reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment while her husband, Reynold Marzan, was sentenced to a minimum of eight years behind bars as an accomplice to the crime.
The court also ordered the couple to pay their former house helper, Bonita Baran, P100,000 in damages.
In August 2012, Baran accused the couple of “conspiring to detain her inside their house in Quezon City from June 2009 to May 2012. Her case prompted the Senate to conduct hearings, leading to the couple’s arrest.
Baran lost her eyesight and suffered deep facial scars due to the beatings she received from the respondents. She also accused Catahan of burning her face with a flat iron.
A native of Catanduanes, Baran was only 17 years old when she was employed by the couple. Locked inside their house, she was only allowed to leave when she finally became blind because Catahan often punched her eyes.
In their defense, the couple claimed that Baran’s wounds may have been “self-inflicted.”
In June 2013, Catahan pleaded guilty to a lesser offense, specifically violation of Article 274 of the Revised Penal Code or the enforced payment of debt by compelling debtors to work against their will as a household servant or farm worker.
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