Wednesday, September 2, 2009

CHR to probe maid’s complaint vs Lucio Tan’s brod

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) will conduct a thorough investigation on the alleged physical and mental abuse committed by Chinese billionaire Mariano Tanenglian against his housemaid of five years.

During the course of the investigation, the CHR said, it will also study whether it can recommend from the Justice Department and the Bureau of Immigration (BI) for the issuance of a hold-departure order (HDO) against the suspect, according to Atty. Carmelita Rosete, head of CHR Protection and Monitoring Division.

Rosete said the CHR is looking into the possible violation of child abuse law and commission of child trafficking on the case of Mary Jane Sollano, who was rescued from Tanenglian’s residence by a joint team of CHR, Department of Social Welfare and Development and the Quezon City Police District recently.

“Sollano was a minor when she was recruited five years ago,” Rosete explained. At the time of her rescue, Sollano’s hands were badly scalded due to the hot water allegedly poured on her by Tanenglian.

Sollano filed criminal charges of maltreatment, serious illegal detention, slavery and frustrated homicide before the Department of Justice (DOJ) against Tanenglian, his wife Aleta, as well as children Maximillian and Fayette.

In a three-page affidavit, Sollano detailed how she was allegedly “physically and mentally abused” by the Tanenglian family inside their residence in Bgy. Siena in Quezon City from July up to Aug. 10, 2004.

The maid claimed she and her fellow helpers were “not allowed to use the telephone or cellphone, laugh, sit on their (family’s) chairs, look outside the window, watch TV, eat at any time, sleep or rest before our tasks were completed, and read any reading material or even write.”

During her first month at the Tanenglian household, Sollano alleged she was already maltreated and abused by the Tanenglians. “I was not yet familiar with my job so Ate Aleta got mad and slapped me. Since then, they would instantly hurt me for every small mistake I make,” she said. “In my five-year stay in their house, I was not allowed to go out. They even threatened me that they would do something bad if I ask for help from outside.”

Sollano said she tried to escape by asking permission to go home to her province in Zamboanga del Sur, but her employers would not allow her. She was told that she had to finish her two-year contract.

When her contract ended in 2006, Aleta supposedly called a lawyer and told the housemaid to sign a new contract without reading its contents. She only learned later on that she signed the new contract for another two years service in the house.

Sollano added that she pleaded to her employer to let her go, but Aleta said she still had debts to pay.

“I could not do anything but to just follow (them),” she lamented.

She even recalled an instance where she was brought by Aleta and Fayette to a room where they tool nude photos of her.

“When they were not yet satisfied, they would hit me with steel or slippers and threaten me that they would show my nude photos to other people or bring me to a nightclub owned by Ate Aleta’s friend,” she alleged.

Sollano said Fayette once poured hot water on her hands after she was caught eating their food. In another incident, her hands and neck were supposedly chained.

Attached with the complaint were affidavits from police, Commission on Human Rights, Department of Social Welfare and Development as well as other persons present during the rescue of the housemaid.

People's Tonight
September 1, 2009
Page 6


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