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MANILA, Philippines - The couple accused of maltreating housemaid Bonita Baran, whose disfigured face has been a fixture on national television in recent days, on Monday pleaded not guilty to charges of serious illegal detention before a Quezon City court.
Wearing yellow detainee shirts, Reynold and Analiza Marzan also asked Judge Germano Francisco Legaspi of Regional Trial Court Branch 77 to grant bail, claiming the prosecution evidence was not strong. The couple was detained two days at the Senate last week, shortly before they appeared face to face with the 21-year-old Baran at a Senate hearing. There they denied charges of torturing and hitting Baran, to the point where she was blinded in one eye.
Before the QC court Monday, the couple waived their right to be read the criminal information and entered their plea through lawyers Joel Ferrer and Jesus Fernandez.
Analiza also faces two counts of attempted homicide and seven counts of serious physical injury in other courts.
Their former maid Baran had singled out Analiza as having inflicted most of the abuse, but she also told senators last week that Analiza was herself a victim of violence---from her husband.
In the bail petition, the accused said they were deprived of their right to present their evidence during the preliminary investigation.
Serious illegal detention is a non-bailable offense, but a petition for bail could be filed if the accused believes the evidence against him is weak.
The Marzans insisted they were not flight risks, not possessing passports.