Photo of the maltreated kasambahay Elvie Vergara (middle)
IN response to the deeply concerning case of maltreated and physically abused kasambahay Elvie Vergara, Senator Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada has vowed to take decisive action to hold her employers accountable for the alleged violent and inhumane acts she suffered at their hands.
“Walang puwang sa lipunan ang mga taong pinagsilbihan ni Elvie ng anim na taon. Sakali man na mayroong nagawang pagnanakaw ang pinagbibintangang kasambahay, legal na aksyon o karampatang hustisya ang dapat manaig. Hindi dapat natin inilalagay ang batas sa ating mga kamay,” Estrada, father of the Batas Kasambahay Act, otherwise known as Republic Act No. 10361, said.
Estrada, during the August 18 (Friday) episode of his online show “JingFlix,” interviewed Vergara and pledged to provide legal and financial assistance to her. He also promised to cover the medical expenses for her eye surgery.
The seasoned lawmaker, who introduced the 2013 landmark legislation as early as 2004, expressed disgust over the ordeal suffered by the victim supposedly in the hands of her employers.
“Pinagbibintangan po siya na nagnakaw ng cash na P12,000 at relo na nagkakahalaga ng P15,000. Naglalagay din daw po siya ng kung anu-ano sa pagkain nila,” Elvie’s sister Babylou relayed to Estrada when asked as to the possible reasons that prompted Vergara’s employers to take matters into their own hands.
As a champion of workers’ rights and social justice, Estrada is committed to using the full extent of legislative powers to ensure justice for Vergara and oversee the collaboration of relevant authorities and agencies to guarantee a fair and comprehensive investigation in her case.
“Ako mismo ang magpa-follow up sa mga awtoridad para mahuli itong mga employers ni Elvie,” Estrada said, recalling the similarity of Vergara’s case to the untold cruelty of kasambahay Bonita Baran became blind as a result of the abusive acts of her employers.
Formal cases are yet to be filed against Vergara’s alleged tormentors, the senator found out.
Estrada conducted the Senate investigation on Baran’s case in 2012, paving the way for the expeditious passage into law of RA 10361 or the Domestic Workers Act, which institutes policies for the protection and welfare of domestic workers.
The Supreme Court has sentenced Baran’s employers Reynaldo and Anna Liza Marzan of 40 years of imprisonment for the crime of serious illegal detention. (ai/mnm)