Thursday, September 10, 2009

Another maid files slavery raps vs Chinoy billionaire

Another housemaid of Chinoy billionaire Mariano Tanenglian, brother of business tycoon Lucio Tan, yesterday filed slavery charges, among others, against her employers before the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Aljane Bacanto, 19, filed charges of maltreatment, serious illegal detention, slavery and frustrated homicide against Tanenglian, his wife Aleta as well as children Maximillian and Fayette.

Bacanto’s fellow maid Mary Jane Sollano earlier filed similar charges also before the DOJ against the same respondents.

In her affidavit, Bacanto recounted her ordeal at the hands of the Tanenglians in Brgy. Siena, Quezon City, which she claimed started last May 2006 until she was allowed to go back to their province last February. “I was detained inside the house. For almost three years, I was not allowed to go out – not even once,” partly read her affidavit, written in Tagalog.

Bacanto echoed Sollano’s revelation that they were virtually cut “from the outside world” when they were not even allowed to call anybody outside of their employers’ house.
Yesterday’s complainant said she was only allowed to write letters to her family but upon dictation from Fayette who wanted her not to reveal her ordeal to her parents.

“They made me a slave without salary and enough food,” Bacanto claimed.
She said the refrigerators in the house were padlocked and there were occasions that they were not fed anything for three consecutive days. The maid disclosed that they were forced to steal food from the kitchen. When they were caught once, they were beaten black and blue by their employers, most notably Aleta, Fayette and Maximillian.

The complainant said she was even forced to eat dog food just to survive.
Bacanto’s testimony supported that of Sollano. She was the one who reported their ordeal to the family of Sollano after she left Tanenglian’s house, which led to the rescue of the latter.

Sollano earlier detailed how she suffered “physical and mental abuses” in the hands of the Tanenglian family from July 2004 up to Aug. 10 when she was rescued by authorities.

While inside the house of the Tanenglians, the 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.

In her first month, Sollano said she already had a taste of the family’s ill treatment. “I was not yet familiar with my job so Ate Aleta got mad and slapped me in the face many times. Since then, they would instantly hurt me for every small mistake I make,” she recalled in Filipino.

“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,” she claimed.

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 another contract for another two years of service in the house. “I could not do anything but to just follow (them),” she lamented, adding she was given “too much punishment for small mistakes.”
She even recalled an instance where she was brought by Aleta and Fayette inside a room to take 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 night club owned by Ate Aleta’s friend,” she alleged.

Sollano, who had been working for Tan’s household for five years and two months, was rescued by operatives from the Quezon City Police District, CHR and DSWD last Aug.10.

Fearing she was dead, her parents learned of their daughter’s whereabouts only through the help of Bacanto.

The father then sought the help of friends and private lawyers who then brought them to the Commission on Human Rights to seek assistance from authorities.

People's Tonight
September 9, 2009
Page 2


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