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DH accused of hitting, feeding feces to paralyzed ward

13 February 2019

By Vir B. Lumicao
Court told the alleged assaults were caught on CCTV
A domestic helper accused of physical and indecent assault on her bedridden elderly male ward had been made to sleep on a sofa bed next to the sick man although she was supposed to share a room with a grandmother.

This was revealed in Eastern Court on Feb 12 by the defense lawyer in the trial of Ivy Rebustillo, who was also accused by her female employer of “fully hitting” her husband and feeding him his own feces.

The trial, presided over by Magistrate Selma Masood, started with the employer Madam Wong being called to give evidence for the prosecution.

Wong, who said she is a businesswoman who travels frequently, was aided by the playback of a CCTV footage that showed a segment where the alleged attacks by Rebustillo were caught on camera.

She said she had the CCTV installed so she could monitor her husband, who was paralyzed by a stroke and could only nod his head and move his right arm feebly.

Wong said she discovered the assaults when she checked the CCTV on Jun 30 last year and called the police, who then arrested the defendant.

Rebustillo was charged with one count each of common assault and indecent assault on Wong’s husband, identified only as Mister X. The wife told the court that the man died last year.  

In the footage section played back by the prosecution, the defendant was shown carrying a red plastic stool which at one point looked like it struck the face of the sick man.

Another segment showed Rebustillo pulling aside her ward’s diaper and lifting his penis with her right hand as she checked his bottom. Then she turned him to his right side and replaced his soiled diaper. 

During cross examination, the defense lawyer questioned Wong about the provisions on duties and accommodation in the work contract that were not followed.

The lawyer also disputed Wong’s claim that her husband had told her Rebustillo had been feeding him with his excrement.

He pointed out inconsistency in Wong’s testimony because she said earlier that her husband could not talk. Wong changed her statement, saying Mr X wrote his complaint on paper.  The lawyer told her she just made up the story.

The next witness, the officer who arrested Rebustillo, was grilled by the defense lawyer about his failure to remind the helper about her rights and for letting the defendant sign a form without an interpreter to translate it for her.

The officer was also asked why he told the Filipina in the absence of a lawyer or interpreter that if she denied the charge, she would be jailed six months, but if she admitted it, she would get a one-third discount.

The trial is expected to last for two days.

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