Authorities rescue three minors, another house help in Bacong for alleged maltreatment by employers

November 26, 2011 12:59 am 

By Mary Judaline Partlow

DUMAGUETE CITY, Nov. 25 – A joint team of authorities from the Philippine National Police, the Commission on Human Rights and the municipal Social Welfare Office, along with barangay officials, on Friday afternoon succeeded in taking into custody three minor female house helpers and a house boy after they were allegedly manhandled by their employers in Barangay Suludpan, Bacong town, Negros Oriental.

The supposed rescue mission for the three female minors, all 17 year old and from Bonawon, Siaton in Negros Oriental, came after some relatives, accompanied by barangay officials and other authorities, managed to extricate the house boy, “Roel”, 28, on Thursday evening, said town police chief, Sr. Insp. Leopoldo Ijan.

At the Bacong police station, “Roel”, who showed bruises on his body which he claimed was allegedly inflicted by his employers, disclosed that three other young girls had suffered the same fate as his. This prompted social workers and the police to seek the help of CHR investigator Jess Cañete.

Around 4 p.m. Friday, authorities proceeded to the house in Suludpan, where they were met by the female employer, who allowed them in. The three girls, when presented to the government authorities, initially claimed that the bruises, welts and scratches on their bodies were sustained during an accident.

During initial negotiations with the female employer, she refused to release the girls, saying that she had to call her lawyer first as well as inform the girls’ parents of what was about to happen.

However, authorities invoked the right to take into custody the minors after it was learned that the employer allegedly violated some laws, such as employing the girls without prior approval from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), said CHR investigator Jess Cañete.

“At this time, the authority of the DWSD will prevail, while authorities will be contacting the girls’ parents regarding the incident”, said Cañete.

The woman later voluntarily allowed the girls to leave with the authorities. The minors were brought to the Bacong police station around 5 p.m., where they were subjected to immediate medical examination by the town’s health officer.

Sr. Insp. Ijan has assured that the police, the DSWD and the CHR will conduct further investigation on the incident to determine possible violations and the filing of appropriate charges against the suspects.

Bacong Social Welfare and Development Officer Mildred Academia, meanwhile, said the girls will be transferred to an undisclosed location for their security and protection.

“Roel”, meanwhile, has already executed his affidavit with the CHR and is now safely in the company of his relatives.

CHR investigator Jess Cañete said that his office will be preparing proper charges against the suspects, regardless of the outcome of a further investigation involving the girls, as “Roel” and his relatives have signified their intent to pursue a complaint against his employers.

“At this time, the authority of the DWSD will prevail, while authorities will be contacting the girls’ parents regarding the incident,” said Cañete. (PNA) LAP/JFP

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