Filipina helper jailed in Singapore for blackmail try on married boss over affair

·Senior Editor
·3 min read
Photo illustration of a man holding his mobile phone with an inset of a Filipina helper having an illicit affair with a man. (PHOTO: Getty Images)
Photo illustration of a man holding his mobile phone with an inset of a couple in silhouette having an illicit affair. A Filipina domestic helper was jailed in Singapore for attempting to blackmail married man with an explicit after sex photo. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

Filipina domestic helper Melissa Bariga Cuizon, who worked as a part-time house cleaner, had an affair with her married employer in Singapore and then attempted to blackmail him with intimate photos.

The Filipina threatened to send a photo of his penis to his wife and to tell him about their affair, unless he agreed to lend her S$3,500 (P141,500).

Ultimately, Cuizon, 40, was jailed for eight weeks on Monday (July 18) by a Singapore court after she pleaded guilty to a charge of criminal intimidation. An additional charge of distributing an intimate image was taken into consideration.

The prosecution, led by Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Timotheus Koh, had asked for a sentence of eight to 10 weeks imprisonment. Cuizon's employer cannot be named due to a gag order imposed by the court to protect his identity.

According to reports, Deputy Assistant Secretary Gonaranao Musor of the Department of Foreign Affairs Office of Public and Cultural Diplomacy said Cuizon will be deported after serving her sentence.

Employer turned lover

According to court documents, the man was searching for a part-time housekeeper when he came across Cuizon’s profile on Facebook. He then offered her a job cleaning his house, and she started work on Jan 6 this year.

The pair eventually began a sexual relationship and even sent “sexual photographs of themselves” to each other, said DPP Koh.

However, on Feb 5, Cuizon asked the man for a loan of $3,500, lying that it was to repay a loan from a loan shark where she had acted as a guarantor. In reality, she needed the money to repay a friend from whom she had borrowed money.

When the man refused, Cuizon threatened to send photographs of his penis to his wife and tell her about their affair. The man did not budge.

On Feb 9, she then sent the photographs to a man named "Adrian Wong", with whom she was having an online relationship. Wong then used the images to threaten the man as well.

Court documents did not state whether Cuizon or Wong acted on their threats, or whether Wong has been identified or is to be charged.

Koh noted that Cuizon's act of sharing the photographs with Wong should be treated as an aggravating factor as this meant she had lost control of the distribution. This created a "real risk of the complainant’s photographs being distributed to a wide audience, causing the complainant shame and distress."

Koh added, "The fact that ‘Adrian Wong’ used the photographs to threaten the complainant as well is evidence of this real risk."

The offence of criminal intimidation carries a jail term of up to two years or a fine, or both.

Those who distribute intimate images or recordings can be jailed for up to five years and/or fined and caned.

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