Saturday, January 16, 2010

DOJ recommends abuse raps vs Tanenglians

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Justice (DOJ)-Task Force on Women and Children Protection has recommended the filing of criminal charges before the Quezon City regional trial court against businessman Mariano Tanenglian, his wife and two children for allegedly abusing their former housemaid.

The DOJ found probable cause to indict Tanenglian, his wife Aleta, and children Fayette and Maximillian for violating Repulic Act No. 7610, or the Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act, Republic Act No. 9208, also known as the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003, and kidnapping and serious illegal detention under Article 267 of the Revised Penal Code.

“In this case, all the elements of the aforementioned crime(s) are present. Respondents who are private individuals illegally deprived complainant of her liberty by not allowing her to leave their premises for more than five years despite her refusal to extend her services. This detention was coupled with threat that if she made an attempt to leave, something great harm will happen to her,” the DOJ resolution said.

The DoJ Task Force said the complainant, Mary Jane Sollano, was only 13 when she was employed by the Tanenglians in 2004.

In her complaint, Sollano said she suffered physical and mental abuse from her employers and alleged there were instances they would bang her head on the wall, kick her in the body and slap her face when she made mistakes.

Because of the alleged maltreatment, Solleno sought permission to go home but claimed her employers refused, insisting she finish her two-year contract with them.

But before the contract could lapse, she said Aleta made her sign a document without telling her what it was for, only to find out later that it was a two-year extension of her contract. She thus continued to work for the Tanenglians even as the alleged abuse continued.

She even recalled a time when Aleta and Fayette allegedly took her inside a room to take nude photos of her.

“While complainant filed this present case against respondents for alleged maltreatment, serious illegal detention, slavery and frustrated homicide, this Office is not bound to limit its investigation and findings or probable cause on such criminal allegations. Verily, this Office can determine as many crimes as there may be as long as the allegations are in conformity with human experience and proves the elements of the crimes and supported by the evidence submitted,” the DOJ said.

Sollano’s parents said they lost contact with their daughter for almost five years, leading them to think she was already dead. They added that they learned of her whereabouts only from a fellow maid who managed to escape from the Tanenglian household.

Government authorities and representatives of the Commission on Human Rights, Department of Social Welfare and Development rescued Sollano from the Tanenglian’s residence August 10 last year.

Dateline Philippines
Posted on Jan. 15, 2010


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