Monday, September 3, 2012

Bonita


Bonita Baran, 21 (photo courtesy of abs-cbnNews.com)























She came to Manila, like everybody else that did, dreaming of that small job, of those small earnings to be sent to a waiting family in the province, eyes set in an unknown future with hopes for a better one. But after four years of humble servitude to her employers, her right eye is now blind, her face and ears burned, scars are all over her body and she can barely walk that from time to time she uses a wheelchair to course through around. This is the story of Bonita Baran. This is a story of a girl in a sudden twist of fate, that from a tale of voyage to simple dreams, nightmares unfurled and the journey to justice begins. 

From the province of Catanduanes, Bonita arrived in the home of Analiza and Reynold Marzan in 2007. All is well during the first year of her job as a maid. She was happy enough with her P700.00 (about $16.00) salary a month, cleaning and ironing clothes for the family. After a year of servitude, Bonita’s Calvary arrived.

Dissatisfied with her cleanings and ironing of clothes, Analiza Marzan would repeatedly hit Bonita with reed broom all over her body until the broom itself is destroyed. Hard objects are thrown to her while figurines are smashed on her head.

“Isang taon po akong hindi sinasaktan tapos po noong unang beses na naranasan ko, araw-araw na po. Sa paglilinis ko po, kapag nakitang hindi maganda sa kaniya, hindi malinis, sinasaktan niya po ako.”

“Hinampas niya po ako dito sa ulo ng walis tambo. Tapos po dito sa dalawang braso, tapos sa binti, sa paa. Halos nagkaputol-putol [yung walis tambo] tapos namaga. Tapos dito naman sa ulo hinampas niya ako ng figurine na matigas tapos natanggalan po ako ng buhok.”

Wounded and bleeding, Bonita saw no medical attention and succumbed to wiping her blood and washing them with running water. One time she was ironing clothes of her masters, Analiza Marzan picked the iron and stroked it on Bonita’s face, on her arms and on her back. Flesh burned and in turn, the matron poured over Bonita a dipper of water.

“Dito po sa mukha ko pinlantsa niya. Tapos pinlantsa niya dito po sa may ulo, tapos dalawang braso tapos sa may likod po. Hindi po nila ako pinapagamot, hindi po ako dinadala sa ospital. Nasunog po siya. Binuhusan niya po ako ng isang tabong tubig sa C.R. tapos lumobo po siya. ‘Pag nakita na niya po na nasugatan niya ko sasabihin niya ‘sorry hindi ko sinasadya.”

Every night, Bonita said she would pray. That if the neighbors couldn’t hear her pleadings as her mistress would cover her mouth and threaten her with more physical abuse, she hopes that God will. But her nightmare is just beginning.

Analiza Marzan repeatedly punched Bonita straight in her eyes like a standing dummy. Now, Bonita lost her right eyesight and the left one is in danger of following. According to Dr. Erwin Erfe, the medico legal of Public Attorney’s Office (PAO), Bonita’s right eye has only 10 % of vision as of present and that she needs medical attention to save her from turning completely blind.

“Sinusuntok niya po itong dalawang mata ko. Tapos ilang araw naman parang namamaga siya, binuhusan niya ako ng isang tabong tubig. Tapos ilang araw naman po, susuntukin niya ulit ‘yung mata ko.”

The abuse went on for four years straight. Bonita was also stabbed by Mrs. Marzan using scissors, forced-fed with cockroaches and spoiled food, choked her and locked her in the house. Her communication with her family was limited. To this, the Marzan children would just watch, even the father, Reynold Marzan. Bonita tried fighting, but she was no match to her masters.

One time, Bonita recounted how Mrs. Marzan asked her what’s taking her too long before she died. To which Mr. Marzan, according to Bonita, replied urging his wife to just kill her.

“Ang sabi niya po sa akin bakit ang tagal-tagal ko daw pong mamatay. Tapos ang tanong ng lalaki sa babae, ‘bakit gusto mo ba siyang patayin?’ ‘Patayin mo na. Saan mo ba itatapon?’”

When Bonita was too worn-out to work, the Marzans threw her back to her family in the province. It took Bonita a lot of courage to step-up against her old masters. Now, she is marching her way towards justice.

Analiza Marzan is now facing seven counts of physical injury, two counts of attempted homicide and serious illegal detention at the Quezon City Regional Trial Court under Judge Germano Legaspi of Branch 77. Reynold Marzan, meanwhile, is also facing rap of serious illegal detention. A hold departure order was also issued against the Marzan couple. The latest is that the court already released warrant of arrest and the couple is now said to be in hiding.

The Philippine Senate through its Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development headed by Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Estrada is also conducting its own investigation. After two invitations to attend the hearing, the Marzan couple is still evading Senate’s call and so another warrant of arrest is issued.

In an interview over GMA News, Analiza Marzan denied all the allegations. She said Bonita’s wounds and scars are self-inflicted and that she even ironed herself in the face and her back.

I’ve been following Bonita’s case since I saw her with her scarred face and battered self. In a lopsided world we inhabit, she’s proof to the saying that if hard work really is the key to success, then the slaves would’ve been rich. But if Bonita believes in a system of justice which I denounced many times having faced with all its debauchery in the conduct of my job as a journalist, then I too can hope for that elusive justice. As the song says, even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.


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For those who would like to extend their help to Bonita, please contact the Public Attorney's Office at 929-9436. Comments, messages and other feed backs are welcome. You may e-mail the author at desoleboy@yahoo.com

10 reaction(s):

Mac Callister said...

shet! those people should be put on electric chair!!!!

sana mahuli na sila. grabe, kawawa naman si bonita :-(

Ms. Chuniverse said...



Lagi tayong nakakabasa ng mga news about OFWs being maltreated.

This is different.

Naiiyak ako sa nangyari sa kanya.


May tao palang ganun talaga kasama. These abusive couples have already secured their special place in hell.





Traveliztera said...

I am completely dismayed. =( I hope that justice will be served, and that Bonita gets to have a better life...

Archieviner said...

Grabe to. Grabe talaga. Bakit ba may mga taong ganun mantrato. Sana mabigyan na sya agad ng justice.

KULAPITOT said...

nkita ko din to.... ininterview p nga yung amo niya at todo deny sila

Nate said...

sobrang naiyak ako.. :'(

i pity her employers..

they should burn, eternally, in the fiery lakes of Hades..

Désolé Boy said...

Thank you guys for reading, Mac, Miss Chuni, Traveliztera, Archie, Kulapitot, and Kuya Nate.
.
.
I hope you're all inspired by her story. Let us all pray for Bonita and her family. Thanks again.

Visual Velocity said...

Oh god, I hope Bonita's masters get what they deserve.

ZaiZai said...

I felt sick while reading this, no one deserves what Bonita went through. It's unbelievable how horrendous and inhumane some people could be.

I hope she gets justice at least.

jonathan said...

Very tragic and there weren't any brave souls who knew her sufferings in the hands of those mean people. God bless Bonita.

 

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