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Judge tells Filipina she can’t ask court to help collect debt

16 October 2017

A Filipina who sought the High Court’s help in collecting the $36,000 claim awarded her by the Small Claims Tribunal was told she had gone to the wrong place.

Deputy Judge Kent Yee rejected the appeal filed by Eugenia V. Managan when she could not explain why she sought the court’s help to go after Genny Bell Panes who failed to pay her back.

 “You got it all wrong, Madam,” Judge Yee told Managan, adding that the High Court is not a claims court.

The perplexed judge noted that the adjudicator, Brian Mak, had in fact entered judgment in favor of  Managan when Panes failed to show up to counter the claim at the Tribunal.

Managan, who is in her 40s, told The SUN it was the staff at the Tribunal who told her to appeal the case to the High Court. 

The La Union native, who said she had been a domestic helper in Hong Kong for 20 years, filed the claim on May 2, alleging that Panes reneged on her written promise to repay her debt in January last  year.

The case was first heard by Mak on June 7 but Panes was absent. She also did not appear at the trial on Aug 1, so Managan was awarded the claim.

Managan said she learned that Panes had gone home to Iloilo two months ago but was already back in Hong Kong.

But a quick check with the Consulate’s assistance to nationals section showed Panes was issued a one-way travel document because she was terminated by her employer and had no passport. -VBL    
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