Tuesday, December 8, 2009

3rd maid files abuse raps vs Mariano Tan, family

A third housemaid has filed charges against businessman Mariano Tan and his family before the Department of Justice (DOJ) for allegedly abusing her.

Gina Renacia, 33, accused Tan; his wife, Aleta; and children Maximillian and Fayeete for supoosed “maltreatment, serious illegal detention, slavery and frustrated homicide.” The Philippine National Police (PNP) endored her complaint to the DOJ.

Renacia, according to the complaint, was 15 years old when Tan and his family employed her as a housemaid.

“In November 1992, victim Renacia… suffered physical and mental abused from the afore-named respondents thereby causing physical and emotional distress upon her person,” stated the complaint signed by Senior Police Officer 1 Florence Costanilla of the PNP Women’s Desk.

Renacia said she was allegedly beaten, forced to shave her head and slapped whenever she did something wrong. She also said that in November 1992, Aleta alleged pressed a hot iron against her back, and she had to be treated at the Philippine General Hospital.

Earlier this year, former housemaids Mary Jane Sollano, 18, and Aljane Bacanto, 19, separately filed similar complaints before the DOJ.

In her affidavit, Bacanto said she was allegedly not allowed to go out of the Tan residence ”not even once” in barangay Siena, Quezon City from May 2006 until she was given permission to go back to her province last February.
Just like Sollano, Bacanto said she was not allowed to call anybody outside the house. She said she was only allowed to write letters to her family in Tacloban, but Fayette reportedly told her what to write.

“They made me a slave, without a salary and enough food,” she said.
Bacanto said she was only given food whenever her employers were satisfied with her job. She said the refrigerators in the house were padlocked and there were many instances when she was not able to eat for three consecutives days.

She said she and her fellow maids were caught stealing food and were harshly punished. She said she was beaten several times by Aleta, Feyette and Maximillian. She said she was even forced to eat dog food just to survive.
Sollano, who was rescued last Aug. 10 after Bacanto told Sollano’s parents about her plight, told police she suffered “physical and mental abuses” at the hands of the Tan family since she started her employment in july 2004.
Sollano said she and other maids were allegedly “ not allowed to use the telephone or cellphone, talk to fellow house helpers, laugh, sit in 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 material or write.”
She said she tried to escape by asking permission to go their home province of Zamboanga del Sur but her employers for bade her, sayin she had to finish her two year contract.

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

Sollona said Aleta and Feyette once brought her to a room took nude photos of her. ”When they were not yet satisfied, they would hit me with steel (pipes) or slippers, and threaten me that they would show my a nightclub owned by Ate Aleta’s Friend,” Sollano said.

She said Fayette once poured hot water on her hands after they caught her eating their food, and that they chained her hands and neck in such a way that she found it difficult to breathe.

Sollano’s alleged ordeal ended when she was rescued by Quezon City police officers and personnel from the Commission on Human Rights and the Department of Social Welfare and Development last Aug.10.
Sollano and her parents had a tearful reunion after five years without any contact.

When sought for a reaction, Tan’s camp said the Allegations were “part of a bigger picture.” Tan is the estranged brother of businessman Lucio Tan.
“As we all know somebody is trying to stop our clients from testifying at the Sandiganbayan,” Tan’s Lawyer, Raymund Quiroz, said. He added that they will answer all charges once they receive a copy of the complaint.

Edu Punay
The Philippine Star, Page 19
December 07, 2009


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