Assaulted Filipina Domestic Worker testifies against her former employer

Image title

Former employer of Filipino domestic worker charged of common assault at Western Kowloon court on Tuesday, Oct. 12

Eden Pales, a 37-year-old Filipino domestic worker testified against her former employer at Western Kowloon court on Tuesday.

When asked by Miss Li Cheuk-wai, the Deputy Magistrate, Pales became emotional recalling what the defendant, Ms. Mak Pui-shan, 35, said to her family during the assault.

Pales voice cracked a bit and started to cry during the middle of her answer while explaining in Tagalog language to a Filipino interpreter that her former employer didn’t care of her daughter and mother even if they die of hunger as her salary would not be given as punishment to the Filipina worker.

Pales added that her former employer threatened to kill her and that she can hire a helper anytime at HK$10,000 because she has a lot of money.

The assault happened on May 29 this year when the baby cried when she was feeding her with macaroni and would not like to eat anymore. Ms. Mak accused Pales of not good in taking care of the baby.

Pales was confronted and faced by the defendant and slapped her face several times. She was also punched on her left chest and her back more than five times. After she was punched, the defendant faced her again to scratch her face.

Earlier, on her second day of testimony, the Filipina worker was composed answering to questions repeatedly asked to her by the prosecutor on how her former employer, Ms. Mak, pleaded not guilty on charged of common assault.

In the incident of assault happened on May 25, Pales said that the defendant kicked her on her legs. She even squat down on the floor of the court, demonstrating her position when the employer kicked her in the middle lower legs.

When asked how her employer hit her with spatula on on her thigh on the same incident, Pales bended her body to show to the court how the defendant hit her that caused colored violet bruises on her left thigh. She complied when Magistrate asked her to draw to a piece of white bond paper to show to the court the sizes of her bruises.

When the Magistrate asked her why she didn’t report earlier these abusive incidents of the defendant, she answered “Ayoko mawalan ng trabaho”, on her broken voice. Pales continued to explain as she started again to cry that she is the only breadwinner of her family, for her 16-year-old daughter and 72-year-old mother, so, she needed to save money.

Earlier incident of abuses which the court mentioned was heard at Pales’ testimonies yesterday. She said that the assault started between Oct. and Nov. Pales demonstrated in front of the court showing how her hair was pulled and pressed to a wall when the defendant got angry on earlier occasion of the assault.

It was mentioned also that on Feb. of this year, Ms. Mak forced her to eat congee with detergent. That incident happened when the baby cried and did not finish the congee. Pales said that the defendant put detergent on the unfinished bowl of congee then forced her to eat while defendant watched her standing beside her to finish the congee, She said she did what defendant forced her to do because of her fear that she would be assaulted again.

Magistrate followed up her question why she escaped on the following day, May 30 from her former employer and reported to the police at Shatin.

Pales responded that she was very much in pain of the recent assault and in fear of her life because of the threat of the defendant that she will kill her.

Other than the assault done to her by the defendant, Pales was not allowed to take her day off and on several times, her telephone was taken.

The next schedule of the hearing of the case will be on Jan. 12, 2022.