Maltreated maid says employer ordered butcher to hang her in a meat hook
MANILA, Philippines — On top of the physical assault leading to major injuries like loss of teeth and blindness on one eye, the 44-year-old household helper in Occidental Mindoro said she was also hanged in a meat hook by her former employer’s butcher.
During the hearing of the Senate committee on justice and human rights on Tuesday, Elvie Vergara said her employer France Ruiz allegedly ordered the male butcher to deal with her.
The butcher, identified as a certain “Ogie,” then hanged Vergara in the kitchen using the meat hook, with Ruiz witnessing her ordeal that lasted for around three minutes.
This accusation, brought up by Senator Francis Tolentino, was vehemently denied by Ruiz, who appeared in the hearing following the panel’s subpoena.
“Isinabit niyo daw sya sa sabitan ng karne? (Did you hang her in a meat hook?)” Tolentino asked Ruiz.
Ruiz replied: “Your honor, walang katotohanan po, your honor (Your honor, there is no truth to that, your honor).”
Tolentino also asked Vergara if she was tied to a rope, but she answered in the negative.
“Wala po, binitbit lang po ako at binitin ni kuya Ogie sa leeg,” Vergara said of the butcher, adding that she was carried by the butcher with his hands around her neck.
(No, but he carried me [and] then hang me on my neck.)
Senator Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada clarified if Ruiz herself ordered the act, which the household help confirmed, stressing that her former employer was even laughing while witnessing everything happening to her.
“Paano mo alam na utos niya? (How did you know that it was her who ordered it?),” Estrada asked the victim.
In response, Vergara said: “Ang sabi po niya, ‘ikaw na ang bahala diyan, ikaw na ang bahala diyan’.”
(She said, you deal with her, you deal with her.)
“[T]umatawa pa nga po siya eh habang pagpasok niya sa loob, papunta niya sa kwarto,” she also said.
(She was even laughing while she’s entering the room.)
France’s husband, Pablo Ruiz, also showed up at the hearing for his alleged participation in the abuse.
Their 18-year-old daughter, who was also summoned for her alleged involvement in the abuse, did not attend the hearing, prompting Estrada to order a warrant of arrest against her.
The Senate initiated a motu proprio investigation into the alleged severe maltreatment of Vergara, who sustained injuries and became partially blind after the Ruiz family allegedly subjected her to various physical and emotional abuse. Vergara’s case went viral on social media in early August.
Her employers reportedly mistreated her for three years since 2020 in Occidental Mindoro after being accused of stealing.
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