Witness in helper Elvie Vergara’s abuse case survives slay attempt

FILE: Elvie Vergara narrates her ordeal in the hands of abusive employers during the Committee Hearing on Justice and Human Rights on 22 August 2023. Screengrab from Senate of the Philippines/YouTube.

The primary witness to the alleged maltreatment of helper, Elvie Vergara,  in Oriental Mindoro, has survived an alleged killing attempt.

According to Senator Francis Tolentino, alias “Dodong” was reportedly attacked by two unidentified gunmen, wearing bonnets.

Tolentino said the suspects forcibly entered Dodong’s residence in Paluan around 9 p.m. on Tuesday. Based on the police report, the unidentified suspects fired shots at the victim’s house.

He said Dodong was luckily left unharmed after the transpired shooting incident.

The senator chairs the senate panel in charge of investigating Vergara’s maltreatment case. He then expressed concern over the apparent attempt to murder the witness.

Meanwhile, Tolentino also bared that armed men allegedly visited Vergara’s residence in Batangas City on early Wednesday.

Hence, Tolentino said he already coordinated with Police regional director Gen. Joel Doria to secure the safety of Vergara and the witness, noting that it is paramount in the quest for justice in the helper’s case.

In August, the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights began conducting a probe on the alleged severe maltreatment of Vergara by her former employers in Occidental Mindoro from 2020 to 2023.

Vergara reportedly experienced physical, verbal, and emotional abuse that also led to her blindness as a result of heavy injuries.

In a press conference, Tolentino said Dodong, who is set to witness in the next committee hearing, is already safe and now under the custody of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group of the Philippine National Police in Calapan, Mindoro Oriental.

“Elvie herself was allegedly attacked by unarmed men but it is not yet verified,” he said.

He added that he would be recommending Vergara to be included in the witness protection program of the Department of Justice as authorities noticed that armed men steadily roamed around the helper’s house.

Also, the senator disclosed that another witness to Vergara’s case has come out.

“We have another witness. We will try to protect this person. I cannot disclose more details but this witness is not just a witness to Elvie’s sufferings from maltreatment with her former employers, he also experienced maltreatment from them,” Tolentino said.

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