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Woman gets 40 years for abusing maid

MANILA, Philippines - After almost five years of legal battle, Bonita Baran – the helper who was left blind after being abused by her employers – has finally attained justice.

Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) chief Persida Acosta confirmed last night that the Quezon City court handling the case found Baran’s employer Annaliza Marzan guilty of serious illegal detention.

Acosta, whose office provided legal assistance to Baran, said Regional Trial Court Branch 77 Judge Ferdinand Baylon sentenced Marzan to serve up to 40 years in prison.

Marzan’s husband, Reynold, was sentenced to serve up to 20 years in prison for conspiracy to commit the crime, Acosta said. Reynold was earlier allowed by the court to post bail.

A copy of the decision has yet to be released by the court.

The PAO chief said Marzan, who was in jail during the trial, was ordered transferred to the Correctional Institution for Women in Mandaluyong following the ruling.

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The lawyers of the Marzans were not available for comment last night.

The case hit the headlines in 2012 when Baran sought the assistance of PAO. She testified that her employers punched her, slammed her against doors and at one point pressed a hot iron against her face.

She also said the Marzans did not allow her to leave despite her repeated pleas.

Acosta said the separate physical injuries case filed by Baran is still pending in another court.

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