Friday, August 14, 2009

CHR pushes probe on battered maid’s plight

The Commission on Human Rights has widened its investigation into the plight of an 18-year-old from Zamboanga del Sur who was rescued from the residence of the estranged brother of business tycoon Lucio Tan, along Biak-na-bato, Sto. Domingo, Quezon City Monday afternoon.

Lawyer Carmelita Rosete, chief of the CHR protection and monitoring division for the National Capital Region told The STAR that they are looking into the possible violation of child abuse and child trafficking on the case of Mary Jane Sollano who was rescued from the residence of Mariano Tan by a composite team of CHR, DSWD and the Quezon City Police District.

“ She was still a minor when she was recruited five years ago,” she said.
Rosete said Sollano want to help her sick father but she went missing in the last five years until Aljane Bacanto, a fellow housemaid escaped and revealed the location of the missing girl. The parents and relatives of the girl has filed complaint with the CHR which in turn coordinated with the DSWD and police to secure the release of the girl from Tan’s household.

The CHR is coordinating with the lawyer of the victim for the possible filing of criminal cases against people responsible for the plight of Sollano. Sto. Domingo barangay captain Richard Yu held several house negotiations with the lawyers of Tan for the release of the housemaid.

Tony Abbago, CHR investigator said the victim is now undergoing physical, emotional and physiological test.Roland Sollano, native of Tigbao Surigao del Sur, father of the victim, has filed a complaint before the CHR over the alleged illegal detention of his daughter for the last five years inside Tan’s residence. He said his daughter was recruited from their town five years ago and since then they lost contact with her until a mother of another victim who was also rescued in the same household wrote her the plight of his daughter.

“I have not seen my daughter for the last five years, she is now 18 years old”, Sollano told The STAR in the Visayan dialect. Reports said that aside from being locked up, the girl was also allegedly maltreated and her salaries were not paid.

Jonathan Agustin, DSWD rescue officer said the victim will undergo medical and psychological examination to assess her medical and mental condition. Yu held several hours of negotiation before they were able to secure the release of the girl.

Barangay tanods interviewed by The STAR said that the girl was locked up in one of the rooms of the apartment after finishing her chores. The barangay tanods said the girl often display a cardboard seeking help from passersby.

‘Nothing to do with scandal’
The camp of businessman Lucio Tan yesterday said the taipan has no involvement whatsoever with the recent scandal involving his younger brother’s family over the alleged detention and maltreatment of the latter’s housemaid.

Lucio Tan Group spokesperson Lt. Gen. Salvador Mison (retired) issued the clarification following published reports about the alleged rescue of an 18-year-old househelp from Tanenglian’s residence Monday.

“While it is true that Mr. Lucio Tan and Mr. Mariano Tanenglian live in the same compound in Quezon City, they maintain separate and independent households. They also have different sets of house helpers,” Mison said.
“We are saddened by this unfortunate turn of events. We hope Mr. Tanenglian’s family would be able to explain their side in the proper forum,” he added.

Mison, who is also president of Tan’s holding firm Basic Holdings Corp., said the taipan was out of the country when the incident occurred. He only learned about the incident by family members and media reports.

The Philippine Star
August 13, 2009
Page 14


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