Couple Deny Charge, Seek Bail

MANILA, Philippines --- The Marzan couple were accused by their former maid Bonita Baran of maltreatment pleaded not guilty to charges of serious illegal detention before a Quezon City court on Monday.

Reynaldo and Analiza Marzan were brought before Judge Germano Francisco Legaspi of Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 77 yesterday accompanied by their lawyers Joel Ferrer and Jesus Fernandez.

The couple waived their right to be read the criminal information and instead just entered their not guilty plea through their lawyers.

Apart from the charges of serious illegal detention, Analiza is also facing charges of two counts of attempted homicide before the RTC and seven counts of serious physical injury before the Metropolitan Trial Court.

Also yesterday, the Marzan couple asked the judge to allow them to post bail, saying the evidence against them was not strong. Though serious illegal detention is supposed to be a non-bailable offense, a petition for bail could be filed if the accused believes the evidence against them is not strong.

The serious illegal detention charges were filed against them by Baran who claimed she was maltreated while she was working at the couple's household.

In filing the bail petition, the couple claimed they were deprived of their right to present countervailing evidence during the conduct of preliminary investigation at the fiscal level.

They also said in their bail petition there was no risk or possibility of flight on their part, since they themselves were the ones who surrendered to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and, apart from this, they claimed claimed they do not have any passports.

The couple also said they have to attend to the needs of their children "in their crucial formative years."

"The accused have three minor children who are enrolled in a Chinese school but have not attended their classes since the above-captioned case was reported in the media, out of concern for their personal safety. The said minors are emotionally disturbed and the experience they are going through is traumatizing their growth and development," the petition stated.

The petition also stated that Analiza is suffering from a kidney ailment that needs medical attention.