Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Court orders arrest of businessman, family for maid abuse (The Philippine Star)

A Quezon City court has ordered the arrest of businessman Mariano Tanenglian, his wife and two children over the alleged maltreatment of one of their underage housemaids.

In an order dated May 4, Judge Roslyn Rabara-Tria of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 94 also issued a hold departure against Tanenglian, estranged brother of businessman Lucio Tan; his wife Aleta and children Fayette and Maximilian.

The charges of illegal detention, trafficking and child abuse were based on a complaint filed by Aljane Bacanto, a former housemaid of the Tanenglians. Illegal detention and trafficking are non-bailable offenses. The court set bail at P80,000 for each of the accused for the child abuse case.

The case of another former helper, Mary Jane Sollano, who was also allegedly maltreated by the family, was raffled to the sala of Quezon City RTC Branch 102 Judge Lourdes Giron.

“After having personally examined the information, the resolution of the investigating prosecutor and all the supporting documents attached thereto, the court finds that there is probable cause to hold accused for trial for the offenses charged. Let warrants for their arrest (be) issued,” the court said in the order, a copy of which was obtained by The STAR.

“With regard to the motion for the issuance of a hold departure order, the court finds the same with merit and… the motion is granted,” the court said.

The STAR tried contacting Tanenglian’s lawyer, Raymund Quiroz, but calls made and text messages sent to his cellular phone were unanswered.

In past interviews, Quiroz had denied the charges against the Tanenglians. He had linked the case to Mariano Tanenglian’s move to testify against his estranged brother, tycoon Lucio Tan, in a government case.

Bacanto claimed she was 16 when she was first hired – with a monthly salary of P2,000 – in May 2006. She said she was maltreated while she was working for the Tanenglians. She said she was finally allowed to go home in January 2009, but allegedly without receiving her salary.

The Bureau of Immigration and Department of Foreign Affairs were both given a copy of the hold departure order against the accused. The court also denied the motion to suspend proceedings filed by the defense.

The prosecution had asked for the issuance of the hold departure order, claiming that the accused are “very influential and prominent people” and have access to both domestic and international transportation.

But the defense had opposed this, citing a pending motion to hold in abeyance the issuance of arrest warrants due to a pending motion for reconsideration filed with the Department of Justice.

However, the court ruled: “It must be emphasized that the function of the judge to issue a warrant of arrest upon determination of probable cause is exclusive… There is absolutely no ground for the court to suspend proceedings and defer issuance of warrants of arrest.”

Reinir Padua
The Philippine Star
Posted May 15, 2010 at


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