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Pinay jailed 4 months for hurting bedridden ward with stool

07 March 2019


By Vir B. Lumicao
Rebustillo was tried in Eastern Court

A Filipina who was caught on video hitting her bedridden elderly ward with a plastic stool was jailed for four months today, Mar 8, after being found guilty of common assault.

But Ivy Rebustillo was acquitted on a second charge of indecent assault on the elderly man by Eastern magistrate Selma Masood.

The magistrate said in explaining the sentence that Rebustillo’s offense was aggravated by the condition of her ward, who was bedridden and couldn’t defend himself.

She said another aggravating factor was the element of breach of trust, as the helper was hired to take care of the partly paralyzed victim, identified only as "Mister X".

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The defense counsel pleaded for a "short but suspended sentence" on Rebustillo, citing her clear record, her having a 4-year-old son and elderly mother who depended on her for support. He said the helper is married to an Indian torture claimant.

But Masood ruled out a suspended sentence because of the aggravating factors.
In her defense, Rebustillo told the court on Mar 1 that she had merely tapped her ward with the stool on Jun 30 to stop him from touching his feces.

But the prosecution pointed out that the knocking sound picked up by the camera from the impact showed that the accused had deliberately hurt the old man.
The victim, the husband of her employer, died late last year.

A CCTV footage taken in the living room of the employer’s North Point flat showed Rebustillo picking up a pink stool, then hitting her ward’s hand with it.

When asked why she did not just use her hand to stop her ward, she said it was because she was already holding the stool.



Masood acquitted Rebustillo of the charge of indecent assault, saying that holding the victim's penis was an inevitable part of the helper's job to clean him up because feces smeared his private parts.
  
But the judge said she included the alleged indecent assault under the umbrella of common assault fo which she convicted the helper.

The defense had tried to discredit statements Rebustillo made during a police investigation, saying she was not fully informed about her rights because she had with her a Tagalog interpreter instead of a Bicolano one as she had requested.

Her lawyer said it was wrong for the police to make her sign the declaration when she did not fully understand its contents.

The magistrate excluded the video-recorded interview by the police with the defendant, but still convicted her of the assault charge based on what was shown on the CCTV footage from her employer’s flat.


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